Digital Detox

hailey gardiner digital detox social media fast presence mental health

I’m just as guilty as anybody of using my phone as a way to avoid social interaction, to distract myself, and to see what everybody else is up to.

Every so often, it’s good to put our use of digital media in check!

Here are 5 ideas for how you can reset and do a digital detox!

1. Designate your bedroom as a technology free zone.

I decided about a year and a half ago that I wanted to reserve our bedroom as a relaxing, calming space, free from the distraction of technology as much as possible.

To accomplish this, I keep my phone plugged in the wall in my office at night, usually an hour or so before I go to sleep.

This prevents me from scrolling before bedtime or starting my day off with my phone in my hands.

2. Take a fast from social media.

I find it so refreshing to set aside a week, ten days, or even a month where I don’t have to engage on social media.

It really is amazing to realize how much time I use each day on my phone or on the internet, and how that time is freed up to do other things like read, play guitar, or catch up with a friend when I don’t have social media to fall back on.

Fasting from social media can help you reset and recharge, and make more intentional decisions about how and when you want to engage with it again once your fast is over.

3. Use the ‘screen time’ limits on your phone.

I LOVE the time limits I can now set on apps on my phone like Instagram and Pinterest.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes a whole hour spent on a digital device can pass so quickly that I don’t even realize it.

Setting time limits on my apps on my phone helps keep my social media and internet use in check.

It’s also very helpful to see how much screen time I’m getting from day to day and week to week so that I can choose to cut back if I need to.

4. Leave your phone in the car or in your purse when you’re out and about.

I think we’ve developed a real intolerance for boredom. How often do you find yourself waiting in a line somewhere, sitting in the lobby of a doctor’s office, or out to lunch by yourself?

Instead of taking your phone with you everywhere you go, leave it in your car (or inside your pocket or purse if you think you’ll definitely need it).

It was uncomfortable at first for me to do this, but I now think it’s so fun to people watch, read, chat with a stranger, or just think quietly while I’m waiting somewhere instead of hiding behind my phone.

5. Turn your phone, laptop, and tablets completely OFF!

I very rarely find myself in a place where my phone needs to be off, but once it’s off and out of sight, I realize how much easier it is to be present!

Take opportunities to go places that are technology free – like churches, museums, temples, and theaters.

Give your devices a break and power them down completely, even if there’s no sign around telling you to do so.