If you’re on the fence about disconnecting from technology and maybe even taking a digital detox, don’t be. Wanting to take a break is a perfectly natural response to the sensory overload we face on a daily basis. Our brains aren’t built for being constantly wired in, and taking a break is not only important, it's necessary.
Whether it's obvious that you need some space away from your phone, or you're just up for trying something new, a digital detox might do the trick.
Here's what can be gained from disconnecting and attempting a digital detox.
1. Lower Stress and Anxiety
Do you get tense whenever you see a notification pop-up on your phone? Maybe you’ve actually begun to dread having to check your phone, out of fear for what you might find (oh no, not another email re-writing the project you’ve already spent weeks working on)...
Disconnecting from technology and taking a social media break can have positive benefits on the stress and anxiety you feel, both physically and mentally. The more time you spend in your digital detox, the more tension and tightness you’ll feel physically leaving your forehead or shoulders (and anywhere else you hold tension, for that matter). By giving your brain a rest, you're giving your body a rest too.
Spending time off technology can increase the sense of ease and calm you feel in your day to day life. This mental space can provide some clarity and perspective to help you decide how you want to re-integrate technology into your life once your digital detox is over.
2. More Time In Your Day
No, putting down your phone won’t magically give you an extra couple of hours back to your day. We’re all given the same 24 hours to live with. But if you take a digital detox, you might just get some hours back that you would have otherwise spent scrolling through other people’s lives. Think about it: have you ever gotten sucked into a feed or story online and when you finally look up, an hour has gone by? Where the heck did that hour go?
By committing to a digital detox, you can use that hour a day to do something else you’ve been meaning to do. Like working on your passion project, going for a walk in the park, or learning a new recipe to dazzle your friends — I guarantee you're better off doing these activities with your time over swiping through dozens of Instagram stories.
3. Notice the World Around You
When you don’t have your face glued to your phone, you can actually appreciate the world around you. Whether that’s the hugeness of city skyscrapers or the quiet hum of a small town, there's a lot to appreciate in the smallest things you'll miss if you don't stop to notice them.
Maybe you’ll notice something on your commute to work or in your neighbourhood that you’ve never noticed before. Maybe you’ll even have an honest to goodness conversation with a stranger. How weird and wonderful would that be?
When was the last time you sat in your backyard or on your balcony or on a park bench and just listened to the sounds around you? That might seem like an exercise in wastefulness, but taking the time to notice the small details in your surroundings can help you to appreciate all that you have in your life that isn’t on your phone.
4. Enjoy Your Real Life
It’s easy to get sucked into a FOMO mentality online, which can make it difficult to want to disconnect. What if you miss an important update from a friend? How will you know how much fun your second cousin is having on their vacation when you’re not swiping through their photos?
Despite the pull to be connected online all of the time, it's important to realize that you have a real and important life outside of social media. Your social networks exist in a brick rectangle that we call our phones. When you put that brick down, the virtual world falls away and your real life has a chance to emerge.
It’s easy to think that our phones are the only place where entertainment exists.
In a lot of ways, they can be. But they don’t compare to what you can experience when you come out from behind the screen. It's just up to you how you perceive it.
If you choose to take a digital detox, it might help you understand that social media is a tool. You might also discover that, when used within healthy boundaries, social media can add (rather than subtract) from your life.
Britt is the founder of Tiny Ambitions, a blog, podcast, and creative community where she explores simple, minimalist living. Her journey into minimalism and simple living began in 2014 when she donated, sold, and recycled most of her belongings in favor of a less cluttered life. Her blog and Tiny Bites podcast share personal stories like these about her experiences as a minimalist and how others can take the plunge. It's through her podcast where the Flipd team discovered Britt, and she's been one of our leading ambassadors ever since.
Want to become a Flipd ambassador like Britt? Here's how.