I love Kathryn’s blog post about taking a digital detox day. The concept is refreshing, but the thought of spending an entire day away from my computer, TV and cell phone is unimaginable for me.
Like Kathryn, I am addicted to my phone. It’s a habit and a desire – I love to connect with people. But I also feel that it can be a burden and an obligation – a digital leash that controls many of my daily choices. In addition to emailing, texting and talking, I constantly listen to audiobooks, podcasts, or have the TV on in the background. Living in silence is a challenge, and because of this I knew I was the perfect candidate for a tech cleanse. So I took Kathryn’s advice and started out slowly with a half-day digital detox.
I began my detox at noon on a Sunday. I stashed my phone in a drawer, placed my laptop in a cabinet, and unplugged the TV set. It felt odd to be disconnected, and the day ahead of me seemed to have an abundance of time. I calculated that not emailing, texting and checking my phone gave me approximately an extra half hour in the day. Having no phone conversations provided another hour of freedom. Missing my Sunday night TV lineup offered me two more hours of time.
Then there was my computer. Typically on Sundays I browse through online sales, read news, connect with friends on Facebook – and avoiding the web added another half hour to my Sunday. In total, my digital detox cleared up FOUR hours of my day.
So what did I do? I spent my day engaged in healthy activities that would contribute to my overall well-being. I cooked lunches for Monday through Wednesday. I made a giant green smoothie to last a few days. I stretched, meditated, and went to bed early.
What struck me about the half-day digital detox was how efficient I was during the time I “gained”. I was hyper-focused on everything I did. Without background noise and external distractions I was able to hear my thoughts clearly and reflect on them. When I stretched, I went into yoga poses that my body had been craving for a long time. When I cooked I gave 100% of my attention to the food preparation. Eating in silence made me appreciate, taste and savor the food more than I usually do. The tech cleanse gave me the gift of time, focus, and the ability to fully live in the moment. It was incredibly detoxifying!