Digital Detox: The Cure For Your Tech Addiction

Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Umit Bulut (L): Owen Spencer (R)

So what’s all the hype about “digital detox”? All day long our smartphones, laptops and tablets are turned on which means we’re tuned in – and stressed out. We’ll show what digital detoxing is all about and how it can help you.

What do we do when we need to know something? We ask google. Dinner with friends? iMessage. When the bill comes? Venmo. We stream music and films online and email our bosses from our phones in bed to tell them we are sick. And we’re on phones a good part of the day – even at home.

Say you forget your battery pack and your phone dies while on the go? It seems like the end of the world because we could miss something crucial. Situations such as these leave you stressed. Digital detox on the other hand can help you reduce stress and provide a cure for your tech habit.

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Digital Detox: Put Your “FOMO” to the Test

Digital detox tips and tricks put your FOMO to the test
Digital detox is an easy way to simplify your everyday life. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Neil Soni)

There’s a reason why we check our phones so often everyday, and there’s an official term: “FOMO”, or the “Fear of Missing Out”. Because who doesn’t want to be in the loop?

FOMO has conditioned us to react to every single ringtone, text vibration or notification without hesitation. It’s also the reason why we reach for our phones even though we haven’t received any notifications. With so many ways of staying in contact, keeping up to date, checking up on one another – maybe you missed something?

We are constantly overstimulated by all our phones, tablet and laptops have to offer: Texts, videos, images and information – some important, some less so. It’s no surprise we’re stressed all the time.

But there is a solution: Digital detoxing promises to cure you of your online hangover, decelerate your day and help you live in the present. It may sound like a healthy smoothie regimen – but it can actually save you from digital burnout.

Utopia’s tip: Self-Improvement: Why We All Need a Break from Self-Optimization

Simple Steps towards Digital Detox

Digital detox for beginners digitally detoxing simple steps towards tech independence
Digital detoxing will put your own personal tech use and phone-check frequency into perspective. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Drew Coffman)

The modern digital age has recently given rise to so-called “digital detox” camps for adults – places to spend time offline. Ironically, you’ll also find various digital detox apps and browser plugins aimed at helping you reduce your screen time.

However, there exist a couple of simple ways to complete a digital detox without having to travel or even touch your phone or laptop. Spending an offline-weekend doing something you enjoy can work wonders.

Here are some tips to start your digital detox regimen today.

Keep Your Bedroom Tech-Free

Digital detox tips and tricks keep your bedroom tech-free
Your phone or laptop should not be in your bedroom after hours! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Annie Spratt)

Watching Netflix or browsing on your laptop from bed can be a cozy way to end the day. But you can benefit way more from banning your phone or laptop from the bedroom and designating it as a digital detox zone. Studies show that looking at screens before going to bed can have a negative impact on your sleep quality and duration. Shut your devices down in time and grant yourself the good night’s sleep you deserve.

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Use an Alarm Clock

Digital detox use an alarm clock
Alarm clocks are stylish and don’t require a charge. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Katarzyna Kos)

No, we don’t mean the app on your phone. For one, using an analog alarm clock decreases the chance your phone will end up back in your bedroom – the designated digital detox zone. Second, a normal alarm clock ensures you won’t be spending the first waking minutes of your day on your phone.

Only Check Your Emails Once a Day

Digital Detox check emails only once a day limit your screen time
Pick a time of day to check off tech to-dos. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Jason Briscoe )

There’s a reason why we’re on our phones a good part of the day; being reachable at all times has its perks. However, at the same time, we often feel mutually obligated to answer texts and emails immediately.

Instead of giving in to this unwritten agreement, limit your email checks to once or twice a day. Designate a time throughout your day to check emails, Facebook, Instagram et cetera. If something important happens that absolutely requires your attention, odds are your friends and family will call you first.

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Digital Detox: Turn your Phone Off

Digital detox turn off your phone all electronic devices
Airplane mode is a start. How about shutting your phone down when the time is right? (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Owen Spencer)

Nowadays, digital devices tend to use up as little battery as possible when set to standby. Instead of turning them off, we leave them on all day where they’re always accessible.

When it comes to digital detox, the rule goes: Once your work on a digital device is done, shut it off. When you finish up on your laptop, shut it down. You’re done reading an evening article on your tablet? Turn it off until tomorrow.

This way, you’ll be better prepared to confront urges to turn your devices back on after you’re done. Having to turn your phone or tablet on will give you time to rethink your decision, and maybe find something better to do. Knowing when to shut devices down is an essential part of a digital detox.

Read on: 5 Reasons Why You Should Turn Off Your Phone

Take Time for Yourself – And Your Devices

Take time out for yourself digital detox your life too much tech is bad
Digital detox is about mindful digital media consumption – as well as taking time for other things life has to offer. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Austin Distel)

Take care of all your online business at one time. Speed-swipe through Instagram updates, check those blue Facebook messenger dots and read or delete emails.  If you think of things to google, write them down and research them all at one time. This way, you’ll spend less time in front of a screen, and more time enjoying life offline.

Leave Your Phone at Home

Digital detox leave your phone at home
Don’t just turn it off, leave it at home! (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Caleb Jones)

Whenever you’re out with friends, spending time with the family or going jogging in the mornings, just leave your phone at home. When it’s not in your pocket, it’s not there to cause a distraction. It will probably feel weird the first time around, but you’ll get used to it. Just give it some time (and effort!).

Pencil in an Digital Detox Day

Digital detox digital detoxing tips and tricks schedule a day offline away from phone laptop tablet
Enjoy “digital detox days” offline, e.g. hiking through nature. (Photo: © Utopia)

Designate a day out of your week and make that your “digital detox day”. Stay offline all day long – not just when you’re busy doing something else or away from home. Spend the day with friends, family or finally get around to reading that book you’ve been meaning to get started on. Why not spend your digital detox day outside? Get out of the city and go for hike or a jog or head to the gym – without your phone.

Read more: Becoming Minimalist: 3 Methods for Beginners

Practice Mindfulness

Digital detox practice mindfulness
Phones, laptops and tablets can make you feel stressed – at work or at home. (Photo: CC0 Publc Domain / Unsplash - Ümit Bulut)

If we’re being honest with ourselves, we very rarely take the time to empty our minds and just be present in the current moment, and that neglect comes at a price. Our hectic running about all day can be incredibly stressful, and that stress has a negative impact on our health. Digital detox helps to slow down our everyday lives and lets us live in the moment. In turn, this reduces stress and makes life much simpler.

Mindfulness exercises offer a way to reduce the stress built up from the daily grind and help you live a more balanced, relaxed and healthy life. 

Utopia’s tip: Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction: Living in the Present

Here’s an Idea: Phone-Free Meet-ups

digital detox phone-free meet-ups with friends
This digital detox method is sure to get you and your friends to drop your phones. (Photo: CC0 Public Domain / Unsplash - Ben Duchac)

Do you have like-minded friends who might also enjoy a dose of digital detox? Set some ground rules for your next meet up in the form of a digital detox evening. Once you’re all present, have everybody turn their phones off and toss them in a bag. Whoever asks for the their phone first and insist on taking it out of the bag (to check Facebook, text their boyfriend, etc.) owes you a coke (or any other beverage of your choosing).

This  digital detox method adds a bit of fun and will keep everybody focused on what’s most important: Spending time together in the present, and not online.

Read more: 

This article was translated by Evan Binford. You can view the original here: Digital Detox: 8 Tipps, um bewusst offline zu gehen.

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