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Digital Detox – Is It Worth It?

Written by Ben Leach on

Our Digital Marketing Exec, Ben, went on holiday a few weeks ago, vowing to stay away from technology as much as possible and living in the now, find out how he got on.

Our Digital Marketing Exec, Ben, went on holiday a few weeks ago, vowing to stay away from technology as much as possible and ‘live in the now’. Find out how he got on in his digital detox.

Image of a finger pressing the off button - beginning a digital detox

Last Monday marked my return to the office after a 10-day holiday. Whilst I wish I could tell you that I was sunning myself on a hot beach somewhere close to the equator, I was actually on the East Coast in a static caravan (glamourous, huh?)

But, more importantly, it marked Day 10 of spending less than 30 minutes on my phone or laptop. Whilst getting back to normal has seen me use my phone more, I’ll never use it in the same way ever again.

Why did I do a digital detox?

I had loads of reasons for my ‘Digital Detox’, although I hate calling it a ‘detox’ as it suggests that technology is toxic. For me, it’s not the technology itself that is toxic, but the way it’s used.

I use technology in almost every aspect of my life, and I think that it’s unrealistic to assume that this can be completely eradicated. Without technology, I couldn’t do my job, nor could I get in touch with friends and relatives that I don’t live close to. Completely removing technology could be more damaging than beneficial.

However, something which I was becoming increasingly guilty of, was allowing technology to live my life for me. What I mean by that, is that sometimes I relied on technology to do something, when I could’ve done it myself. That is toxic usage.

What did my digital detox teach me?

It might’ve been the sea breeze getting to my head or I’ve gone mad, but only responding to priority notifications for a whole week felt like a huge sigh of relief. I’ve learnt a hell of a lot, and it’s made me treat technology completely differently. But what exactly have I learnt?

To think for myself

This is something that I relied on technology to do far more than I should’ve done. What’s that famous actor’s name? Google it. What date did that happen? Google it. What is the answer to that question? Google it. Staying off of Google, or any search engine for that matter, has allowed me to think for myself – believe me, stopping for two minutes and just thinking is fantastic – and it’s surprising what you actually know!

Making memories, not Insta stories

If you’ve seen my social media feeds, it’s likely that you won’t even know that I went on holiday – and that’s the point. Taking pictures to back-up memories is great but taking pictures for the sake of posting them on social media isn’t worthwhile, and is only temporarily rewarding.

Getting enough sleep

I’m one of those people who browse their phone at night, admit it, we’ve all done it – just one more game of candy crush, just another five minutes of scrolling through Twitter, and before you know it, it’s 1 AM, you’ve got to be awake in five/six hours and you end up waking up tired. Turning my phone off and allowing myself to fall asleep in a reasonable time and without a screen light waking me up made me feel a lot more alert and better for it.

Digital detox lifelong lessons

It’s very cliché to say it, but I will never use technology in the same way again. Whilst I’m still not convinced that it’s the technology that is toxic, I’m more than convinced that the way I was using it was utterly poisonous.

I’ve noticed that I’m doing things for myself, not bound by technology anymore. I feel as though I’m using technology as a tool, rather than a lifeline. It still benefits me, but I would never use it to escape a situation that I could get out of with a bit of manual effort.

I’d recommend a digital detox to absolutely anyone, even if you don’t think your use of technology is unhealthy, it probably is – there are probably things that you can do yourself that you rely on technology for. Stop being lazy and start being productive.

Many phones often have a built-in time management app, but if yours doesn’t, downloading the Moment app, which will help track the time you’re spending on your phone, and give you ways to limit it.