Digital Detox: Strategies for Unplugging in a Hyperconnected World

Digital Detox: Strategies for Unplugging in a Hyperconnected World

Do you need a digital detox? If your smartphone, laptop, or tablet has become the center of your universe and controls your life, it might be time to unplug.

Sometimes, we feel like we don’t have any time to ourselves, but that can be our own fault. Do you take your smartphone to the bathroom with you and sit there scrolling through social media? Do you fill every empty minute of your day with time on your phone or in front of a digital device?

It might be time for a digital detox, but most of us don’t know how to do this. Here are some strategies that might work for you.

Communicate your plans to unplug

There’s nothing wrong with taking a weekend away from the digital world and unplugging for a couple of days. If your smartphone is your only phone, you should communicate your desire to be away from devices for the weekend to your friends and family. This will help avoid your picture ending up on the side of a milk carton and allow your friends and family to understand why you aren’t responding to their texts, phone calls, and social media posts.

Get outdoors in a connection-free zone

Where can you go that you won’t stay connected with the world? Find out if there are any outdoor retreats in locations where cell phones don’t work. This will give you the benefits of being in nature while avoiding the temptation to check your phone for alerts and updates every few minutes. Allow yourself to disconnect from your phone during this nature retreat and enjoy the world around you that isn’t on your device.

Create an analog project for the weekend

Although you can find everything you want to learn online, you’ll want to prepare ahead to truly enjoy a digital detox with a project. Is there a home improvement project you’ve been yearning to complete? Do you want to repaint your bedroom or install a new sink in your bathroom? If you need instructions, print them out ahead of time and put your devices away for the weekend while you enjoy the fun of an analog project that doesn’t require your smartphone or computer.

Set up a tech-free space in your home

The urge to put a television in every room or to carry your devices with you wherever you go can be overwhelming. Create at least one room in your home where no devices or electronics are allowed. This can be a room where you read books, work on analog hobbies, or simply sit and enjoy the world around you while looking out a window. This could be your digital detox room, and it might be the perfect place for you to spend some of your time every day.

Start your day without your devices

Digital devices have taken over our lives to the point of being present in every moment of the day. Instead of checking your phone for updates and information first thing in the morning, create a mindful morning without your phone or other devices. This can be as simple as sitting quietly while drinking coffee and looking outside or meditating, stretching, or journaling (using pen and paper) to begin your day. Make your device-free mornings and enjoy the time without digital media.

Embrace the boredom

Many of the greatest inventions in history came from bored minds that were allowed to wander freely without the distraction of digital devices. There’s nothing at all wrong with sitting quietly and being bored for a few minutes at a time. In fact, if your children tell you they’re bored, instead of trying to fill that boredom, let them figure it out. This is a great way to encourage deep thinking and creativity in young minds. Let them and yourself be bored for a while.

Start small, it’s like cutting out anything in your life

You don’t have to perform a complete digital detox and go into seclusion away from the world. You can begin with a few digital breaks throughout the day that might not be noticed by your friends and family. This could be as simple as shutting off your phone during lunch, going for a walk with your phone off, or turning off devices in the evening while you prepare your dinner. These breaks can become longer the better you get at unplugging.

A digital detox could be one of the most refreshing and important things you do for yourself. Are you ready to unplug and enjoy the world around you that isn’t presented to you on a screen?

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