If you’re like one of the millions of people with a smartphone, do you find yourself checking it as soon as you wake up in the morning? Do you have a hard time putting your phone down to focus on other tasks? Are you glued to your tablet at night? Do you sometimes get neck strain, eye strain, or headaches after spending time looking at your devices?
If you’ve experienced any of these issues, you’re not alone. Because we live in a digital world, it’s no surprise that we’ve all become a bit obsessed with our devices.
Below, we’ll explore what a digital detox is, some of the benefits of making a digital detox checklist, and some tips you can use to help fuel you during a digital detox challenge.
What Is a Digital Detox?
Taking a digital detox essentially means unplugging from your various devices, such as laptops, smartphones, and tablets, for some period of time. Many people have realized the negative effects of spending too much time online, whether online shopping or scrolling through Instagram or other social media apps.
Committing to a digital detox will prevent that rush of dopamine from fueling your digital addiction. Detoxing will help you break your dependence on the apps you use daily. Below, we’ll discuss some tips for detoxing from your phone and social media so you can set yourself up for a successful break from your devices.
7 Tips for Your Digital Detox Challenge
Before you begin a digital detox challenge, consider two important things: how much time you spend online, and what you can do with that valuable time instead. Once you’ve identified these factors, you can follow some of the tips below to help with your digital detox journey.
1. Create a Checklist of SMART Goals for Your Detox
Before you start on any journey with an end goal, writing down exactly what you plan to achieve and how you plan to achieve it will help you keep track of your progress, form new habits that are sustainable and break bad habits that prevent you from detoxing.
Checklists keep things organized and take the guesswork out of navigating a digital detox. It’s also worth considering formulating SMART goals as part of this list. SMART is an acronym for:
Using SMART goals to fuel your digital detox will likely make the experience more worthwhile. Achieving goals can offer many benefits, such as helping to build your confidence and self-esteem and motivating you to set and achieve even more goals in the future!
2. Change Your Notification Settings
Smartphones nowadays have Screen Time and Do Not Disturb settings to help you with a digital detox. You can also change your push notification settings, so you receive them less often or not at all.
Seeing notifications pop up on your screen can make it tempting to start the endless scrolling cycle. Consider limiting the number of notifications you receive or turning them off completely to make it easier for you to stay off your phone during your detox.
3. Make a List of Indoor and Outdoor Activities You Enjoy
Suppose you spend hours upon hours on your phone, laptop, or tablet. In that case, you may have forgotten other entertaining activities you typically enjoy. Maybe you loved taking morning walks, working out at the gym, or taking hikes.
You may enjoy reading, painting, or sewing. There are so many indoor and outdoor activities that you can get creative with to help you fill the time you’d usually spend on your device. It’s best to make a list of activities you can do to make your time more productive and meaningful.
4. Delete Unnecessary Apps
You likely have a few or several apps on your phone that you’d be better off deleting. They take up storage space, and if you’re not using them frequently, there’s no use in keeping them downloaded on your phone.
It may be challenging to delete social media apps. Still, they can have negative effects on your mental health and self-image, and they prevent you from living your life to the fullest. Consider how social media may affect you and think about deleting them. They can always be re-downloaded later.
5. Purchase New Books to Read
There are many benefits to reading daily, and plenty of new books are emerging in different genres that will pique your interest. Here are some benefits of reading every day:
- Increased mental stimulation
- Stress reduction
- Enhance and grow knowledge of various topics
- Expanded vocabulary
- Improves memory
- Better focus and concentration
Consider joining an online book club or subscribing to a service that sends you new books each month. Reading is a perfect way to spend your time rather than scrolling through social media.
6. Use a Daily Planner, Schedule, or Calendar
A great way to hold yourself accountable is to set aside scheduled time each day to use your devices. Counting each day of your detox on an online calendar and choosing an end date will help motivate you to complete a detox. It’s best to set a realistic goal (the R in SMART!) of how long you want to take your digital detox.
Suppose you find yourself enjoying the extra time you have or the experience of detoxing from your devices. In that case, you may want to adjust your end date or remove it altogether. Ultimately, it’s up to you how long you want to stay off of your devices.
7. Consume Information Mindfully
As your detox progresses, you can also learn to be more intentional about consuming information online. Rather than scroll and consume whatever information is thrown at you, consider using other means to learn about what’s going on in your world.
Use newspapers or magazines to learn about news or the hottest celebrity gossip. Socialize with friends and family in person to hear about what’s happening in your community. Practicing mindfulness offers benefits, especially when consuming media on digital platforms.
Hopefully, you feel ready to take on a digital detox for your benefit. Consider how tied we are to our devices — it can be rewarding to feel free of that tether.
Detoxing From Digital Media Offers Benefits
Digital detoxes can be temporary or permanent, depending on your ultimate goal. Do you want to be free from worrying about what other people post? Do you want to spend less time or no time online? Consider doing a digital detox challenge in 2022 — now is as good a time as ever!