Have you heard of a digital detox before? As we’ve become a lot more reliant on various devices to help us through our day, some of us feel as if they’ve become much too ubiquitous to the point that they’ve removed us from our ability to be present in the real world. Between your phone and your computer, there’s probably very little you have to do entirely unassisted by the digital world. With a digital detox, you eschew all forms of digital aid in the hopes of reconnecting to a much more natural way of problem-solving. Usually, a digital detox is timed to coincide with a trip to the cottage or similar outdoorsy trip to further increase the connection to nature.
The intermingling of the digital world and our real one can be hard to escape, however, so a few things need to be kept in mind if you are going to go the distance with your digital detox:
Predict Where You Might Fall Off
Even in the most diligent of digital detoxes, there’s usually at least one connection to the digital world kept around for pragmatic reasons. A cell phone still connected to a network so you can receive any emergency calls most often fills in this void. With a data plan, that means that access to the internet is still present. The internet is designed to draw you in and keep you clicking; a simple google search could derail your detox entirely. To help avoid this, I recommend taking some time to learn how to burn video to DVD on Windows PC. Take all of the videos & songs you think you’ll want to enjoy during your detox and put them onto a DVD you can slip into any DVD player you have on hand. This way, you free yourself from having to risk a “quick visit” to the internet to get your entertainment fix.
Turn Off Notifications Preemptively
Most of our social media applications and even a few things like Spotify are notorious when it comes to sending push notifications designed to draw you into their system. Go into your phone’s settings and turn off all notifications except for the bare essentials you need to keep your life in check. This is all about avoided temptations entirely by removing them from your screen ahead of time. The further ahead of time you do this, the more time you give yourself to figure out which apps should be kept and which shouldn’t, as some are difficult to extricate ourselves from while still keeping our lives in check.
Limit Screen Time
To make sure that any use of digital media is solely for emergencies, make sure to put limits on your screen time either mentally or with the use of an app. Some solutions like TechDen go a step further by providing real hardware you can dock your phone into to keep it physically unavailable except for certain times of the day. If you only have 30 minutes to an hour a day of screen time, you’ll be able to make sure that checking your email remains just that, not the beginning of a downward spiral into endless YouTube videos.
Choosing to embark on a digital detox can be helpful in retaking some independence from all of your devices. It can be easy to fall victim to having your left totally automated using attractive apps that take all of the thinking out of your day, but isn’t some level of thinking actually good for us? We need time to exercise our problem-solving skills as well as manually interface with the world around us. If you don’t want to become a victim of the digital generation, consider a digital detox in your near future.