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My 30-Day Digital Detox

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.

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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. 

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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:

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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.

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If you end up trying a digital detox, or have already done one or more, would love to hear your experiences.

29 comments

This is inspiring. 

I won't be able to do a long 30 day detox but I think I can definitely do 7 days.

Like # people like this
Emily Koch Atlassian Team Jan 15, 2020

It's great to hear your experience!

I've been through a couple of digital detoxes myself-- some by choice, others... not so much. But each time I come back from time away from social media and video games, I'm reminded that those platforms that might seem crucial really aren't.

Sure, I love coming back to the friends I've met online. Were it not for the things I take a break from, I probably never would have known them. Still, once those connections are made, things like video games and social media are optional. It's the relationships that matter, and if they're good friends, they'll probably still want to reach out in other ways if one communication route gets put on pause.

(And finally, and arguably most importantly, I should add I don't usually stay up as late when I don't pay attention to those things.)

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 16, 2020

Thanks @Lenin_Raj_Rajasekaran I would love to hear your experience if you try a 7-day digital detox.

Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 16, 2020

I couldn't agree with you more @Emily Koch , it is all about the relationships for me as well. Thanks so much for sharing your experiences with your digital detoxes.

Like Shawn Kessler likes this

What a great way to start the new year! 

For my last job, I had a work phone on me at almost all times and would monitor a social account that got TONS of engagement...all the time. I definitely could have set better boundaries, but I ended up checking that phone and monitoring that account many, many times every day outside "normal" working hours.

For my first few weeks on the Gliffy team, I felt genuinely anxious about the idea that maybe I was missing something if I wasn't checking in every hour or so. And that's just a change in my professional media usage! The farther I get from that old job, the more clearly I see how unhealthy that was. Detoxification has just taken a lot longer than I expected.

...But please don't ask how much time I spend on my personal instagram feed. ;) That's a whole other problem to tackle.

Like # people like this

Hey Samie Kaufman, Your Gal @ Gliffy thanks for sharing! Wow that would have been stressful to always be "on". I have heard individuals moving from FOMO (Fear OF Missing Out) to JOMO (Joy of Missing Out). Ha! I was on instagram a lot, now just once a day (for now) ;)

Like # people like this
Emily Koch Atlassian Team Jan 16, 2020

@Jodi LeBlanc JOMO's new to me, but I like it a lot more than FOMO. That's a good one!

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 16, 2020

I think it's a fairly new acronym :)

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Like # people like this
Erica_Moss Community Manager Jan 16, 2020
Like Fernando Bordallo likes this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 16, 2020

Wow @Erica_Moss  I thought it was a fairly new term, but was on the Trello blog 2+ years ago, so impressive! Can't wait to read it, thanks for sharing :)

Like # people like this
Erica_Moss Community Manager Jan 16, 2020

@Jodi LeBlanc You know I've got your back, always!

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 16, 2020

Thanks @Erica_Moss and right back at you! 💙😘

Like Erica_Moss likes this
Sri Kumar P Atlassian Team Jan 17, 2020

Well, I am not sure if I can survive this Detox :( I spend more time on the phone during the weekend. But the article is like a wake-up call to me, I would surely try to reduce my usage of a smartphone. 

-Sri

Like Jodi LeBlanc likes this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 17, 2020

Hi @Sri Kumar P you should even try it for a few evenings a week, no need to dive into a 30-day detox, unless of course you want to :)

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Sri Kumar P Atlassian Team Jan 17, 2020

Sure👌 I will start of something like that 🙂

Like # people like this
Jimmy_Seddon Community Leader Jan 18, 2020

@Jodi LeBlanc I applaud you for being able to do this!  This is an extremely impressive feat, on that I don't think I would be able to accomplish myself.  That being said I don't spend time on social media apps much after work hours and when I am connected it's playing games with friends that also have family commitments and this is the easiest way for the group of us to "get together" for a couple of hours and still feel like we hang out regularly.

Can't wait to read what you are going to do next!

Like # people like this

I really enjoy all the blogs that touch on this. I went through a strong tech-detox years ago and have held on to the new-me since then. I can tell you in retrospective:

- communication channels that matter indeed stay open and cherished (even if they have to be through the good old paper ones)

- a bad night sleep or a hard to fall asleep night are extremely odd

- my kids noticed and changed how they connect with me and I with them

- I don't miss out on any important information. I'm surrounded by people who happily filter out the social media channels for me and feed me in person only what is 'really worth sharing' (dare I say 😶)

❤️

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 19, 2020

Thanks @Jimmy_Seddon , I enjoyed the Digital Detox much more than I thought I would. Love that you have gaming nights with your friends, a great way to be able to "see" your friends, when you are all super busy with life and family commitments. 

Like Shawn Kessler likes this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 19, 2020

Thanks for sharing @Fernando Bordallo - glad to hear you did a tech-detox years ago and have kept it up. The four points you shared are helpful, I was starting to notice a few of these in my own life (eg. 1 and 4 during my 30 days, and even now since I am still not using my social apps on my phone, and checking social media a few minutes a day only. So far so good :)

Like Fernando Bordallo likes this
Jason_Hooker Atlassian Team Jan 27, 2020

I've managed to wean myself off of Twitter, and I find myself using Instagram and Facebook much less than before, but I'm still well-and-truly addicted to YouTube.

But then again, with the rubbish on TV these days, it's hardly surprising.

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 27, 2020

That;s awesome @Jason_Hooker - good for you! I agree, youtube can be addictive. I have limited myself to youtube/netflix/amazon video to when I am on the treadmill.

Alice Causarano Community Leader Jan 29, 2020

My social media usage is limited to Twitter and Instagram these days (I have a Facebook account but it's only to manage a page) and, since I've always used Twitter from my laptop, my only issue was Instagram. I took 30 days off last year and mt life completely changed after that. I've written a whole blog post about it (I'd be happy to link it if you're interested) and now my way of using it has changed as well. I no longer have social media apps on my phone and I use them with the help of third-party apps like Buffer when I need to share posts. I'm happy you decided to take a month off because it can be extremely helpful, also, December is exactly the right moment to finally enjoy some unplugged time!

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 29, 2020

Thanks @Alice Causarano - I would love to read your blog post, yes please share it. Thanks for the tip on using buffer and for sharing your experience with digital detoxing :)

Alice Causarano Community Leader Jan 29, 2020

@Jodi LeBlanc you're welcome! Using a tool like Buffer allows me to check my social media only a couple of times a day and avoid mindlessly scrolling. Here is my blog post ☺ https://medium.com/@alicecamilla/what-i-learned-after-a-month-without-instagram-9bfa1adac17a

Like # people like this
Jodi LeBlanc Community Leader Jan 29, 2020

Thanks for sharing @Alice Causarano - I just read it! I absolutely love your writing style and enjoyed how you documented your 31 day journey of digital minimalism. I also felt a sense of relief, which surprised me in the beginning, and I had so much clarity. I am sure I also missed the dopamine but didn't realize it at the time. The "twitch" you describe is finally something I have under control, and don't feel the need to have my phone within reach. I pick up my phone a few times a day now, and use my computer one to two times a day to check social media. Thanks again, I look forward to reading more of your blog posts :)

Like Alice Causarano likes this

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