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I have always wanted to do a digital detox and mid-December, nearing the end of a decade seemed like a good time to try it. In the past I had done a weekend unplug, but this felt completely different. I was shocked at how easy it was, I was expecting social media withdrawals of some sort, but nothing. Cutting the cord was almost too easy.
I first started by deleting all my social media apps from my phone: Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Messenger, Snapchat, Slack, Reddit, Pinterest and Linkedin. I then disabled all my social media accounts that allowed for temporary closure: Instagram, Facebook, Messenger, and Twitter (note: Twitter only allows you to deactivate your account for 30 days before it is permanently deleted). I even deleted my Libby app (Library e-reader) so that I would read hard cover books instead of e-books and audio-books. I allowed myself to use text and email and of course voice calls to communicate.
The feeling of being only accessible in a few ways was somewhat freeing, I would go hours and hours without even touching my phone and my mind felt quiet. The inner calmness is indescribable. I went to the library and got five novels, not the non-fiction professional development type I normally read, but fiction.
I spent more time outdoors, I slept better, my productivity increased, I had more quality conversations with friends, either in-person, on the phone or by text, instead of social communication by liking their Instagram posts, or passively scrolling through their feeds absorbing content. I didn't announce my digital detox, just disappeared. And some friends noticed my absence and sent me surprised notes, I love this one:
After the 30 days I enabled my accounts, but didn't add them back on my phone. I now access the sites once a day through my laptop, (just in case someone is trying to reach me) and I scroll for a minute or two as a little treat. I am sure I will get back to posting again, but for now I am enjoying the moments where I am not tied to my phone.
I highly recommend a digital detox. This infographic gives some interesting stats that outline additional benefits of unplugging. I personally think the stats might much higher if the study was done today.
If you end up trying a digital detox, or have already done one or more, would love to hear your experiences.