Ever heard of the term Digital Detox? I came across with this term just this year while reading Arianna Huffington’s book, THRIVE. In her book, Digital Detox was explained where the person unplugs herself from all the gadgets that we have on this modern day. That means not holding your hand phone and checking on your social sites, work email included. A bit harsh, isn’t it? But like any other detox, it is hard in the beginning but it gets better after.
Why did I choose that?
- (Repeat from the top)
I only move my eyes away from my phone’s screen only when it is time to transfer to another train. Once settled, the browsing continues. Bottom line, I am a social media addict – or at least that’s how I consider myself.
Our attempt to do an absolute digital detox was really challenging since we are overseas and have to maintain our communications with our families back home. Also, his job requires 24/7 connectivity, that’s why we chose to particularly stay away from the social media. With all honesty, it was not easy. But after going through the process, I learned a lot! Here are the important things that I learned while I was on digital detox:
- To start with, I get to use my phone other than checking Facebook, Â Instagram, Â and Twitter. I was reading news everyday, whichÂ I don’t do muchÂ before. Okay, I seldom do. Before, I always rely on what’s on my Facebook feed because 100% of the current events are there anyway.
- Second, I don’t take photos of the food I eat so I get to enjoy my food more. Now, I feel that there’s no need to actually do that. Before detox, it feels like it is a must to actually post a photo of the food that you will have on your Instagram account. And that feeling of not posting anything could mean I’m left behind? I never felt that. 🙂 Which is good, right?
Photo courtesy of quickmeme.com
- Next, and I think is one of the most important realisation that I had was that my day was not so stressed because I don’t get to see the people I don’t like in my timeline. I’m sure we all have these on our respective lists.These are the people we added because they are either:
A. added us and being a polite person, we accepted the request even though we are not really close friends.
B. They were friends of ours who, after some time, gets worse than ever. Like those who post:
- so much negative things about their personal lives;
- people who attacks the husband’s mistress and posts it on their walls;
- OR that 25 shots of selfies in one upload – every.single.time. And every day.
- Or that person who maintains a perfect online life but because you know them personally, you cannot help but shake your head because you know that those statuses and photos are mere portrayals a.k.a a FAKE life.
These made me realise I needed to clean my friends’ list. ASAP.
- Lastly, I have more time to communicate with my husband. Usually, when we are on the train on the way to work or going home, we would be glued to our phones. We would talk shortly just to discuss what was posted online or a viral video. Now, we actually discuss how our day was. Even during dinner, our phones are left in our pockets or purse or in the bedroom. We get to eat better and have more time to laugh and connect. We can watch a movie or series without checking phones from time to time for updates on our social media.
Some of our friends were looking for us and asking where have we been. Guess what? they sent messages to us and they did not post on our walls or messaged us thru Facebook. They sent an actual text message. But whenever we tell them that we are doing this as a form of abstinence, they would just make a joke out of it or some cannot believe it like it is too impossible to do.
In conclusion, the experience was really refreshing for me. It made me realize how I miss a lot of more important things in life when I am too tied to my gadgets. So for this year, I did the same. I went for my “social media abstinence” but decided that I need to get my digital detox more often. Making it a weekly or maybe a monthly activity for me and my husband.
Leaving our phones behind made me pick up some new books to read, I get to use my pen again and scribble some ideas/notes in my diary and we have more walks around the block. Leaving the gadgets behind means choosing better connectivity with the world.
I believe disconnecting from time to time helps us appreciate the greater things in our lives. It is funny how we are trying to stay connected to the online world, butÂ the fact is, we lose the connection to our real world and from our loved ones.
What about you? Do you think you can live up to the challenge of being disconnected? 😉
I think people spend too much time staring into screens and not enough time drinking wine, tongue kissing and dancing under the moon.