Digital Detox: Pros and Cons
A month ago I decided to go on a digital detox whilst on our 2 week family holiday to France. I have blogged before about my addiction to my smartphone but I really felt that I needed a break this time. A break from blogging. A break from social media. A break from emails. A break from the on-on-on-ness of the internet.
I switched everything off on my phone – even Instagram, and I kept it that way for 2 whole weeks.
So what are the pros and cons of a digital detox? And could you do it?
- You have so much more time. Reading and replying to emails takes up enough time on its own, add to that the vortex that is social media and I used to lose whole evenings to random chats on Twitter.
- You take in what’s going on around you. When your head is down in your phone, catching up on the latest gossip online, you miss out on magic moments with your kids.
- You are less stressed. Because you don’t know what’s going on in the world, you can’t get upset by the news. Because you haven’t received a demanding email from a client you can’t freak out. Because you haven’t read a rude comment on social media you can’t get worked up. You relax and you stop stressing.
- You revive old hobbies. I used to be a massive book worm and then social media got in the way, with entire evenings spent online. Don’t get me wrong, I love social media, and I’ve made some incredible friends through blogging and Twitter, but it needs to be in moderation. Whilst on holiday I read 7 books in 2 weeks. And it was heaven.
- You’re more fun to be around. It wasn’t until I was off my phone that I realised how bloody anti-social it all is. I was convinced that I didn’t check it much (and in all honesty I’m not that bad, as I don’t go online whilst working) but I used to check my phone at the dinner table, or when out with friends, which I see now is just so rude.
- You see things more clearly. Being switched off and spending time in the moment helps you to be clearer on what you want out of life, to take big decisions, and to set yourself goals.
Now, that is all wonderful but is a digital detox all sweetness and light? Here’s the downside…..
- You know nothing. There is something very depressing about no longer knowing what is going on with people. Most of my friends now use social media to share engagements, wedding photos, pregnancies and baby pics. I HATED not seeing all this.
- Coming back is hard work. When you switch off for 2 weeks it is bliss. But when you come back to your email inbox it can be depressing to see all those unread emails that you need to deal with.
- You miss out on things. Whilst on holiday I got an email saying I’d won something, I needed to confirm my address before a certain date or they would move on to the next winner. Needless to say I missed the deadline and didn’t get the only thing I’ve won in ages.
- It’s hard not to share. After being so into social media for such a long time it was really hard to take a photo and then not share it online, especially some of the fab ones that I got during our holiday.
Finally, do I recommend a digital detox?
ABSOLUTELY. In fact when we got back from our holiday it took me a long time to go back online. And since then I’ve been seriously limiting my social media time, just dipping in and out. And I’m loving the extra time I’ve got to spend with my family, and chill with a good book.
It may not work for you but it certainly did for me 🙂