In news from me, I’m doing a digital detox for the next 7 days.
Why do such a thing, you may ask?
One, because I’m on deadline. Two, because I’ve been inspired by the lovely Scarlett Cole and Robin Covington who did a digital detox last month. Scarlett’s blog about her experience is an interesting read. When she first mentioned she was going offline for a week on FB, my immediate reaction was “no way” followed by feeling a bit ill at the thought. Which was then followed by “well, if that’s my reaction, I should think about doing it myself”. Then I read Deep Work and thought it made a lot of sense. I have a lot of deadlines and writing to do this year. Writing takes focus. Extended periods of focus. And I need to feed the well in healthier ways than mindless scrolling. More doing/enjoying the kinds of activities in the pics. Less watching cat videos and getting annoyed by things that are wrong on the internet :D.
Why do I need a digital detox?
Like a lot of people, I’m online a lot. Too much, really. I cut down a bit on social media earlier in the year but can feel my online time creeping back up now. There are parts of the internet I love and parts that definitely feed my creativity (hello, instagram and online art/craft classes).So it’s not all bad but it’s definitely not all good. And being entirely offline isn’t an option given both my jobs.
The internet has become a habit for most of us. One we hardly notice we’re indulging in. I know for me, it’s a major source of procrastination fodder. Procrastinating the old fashioned way via reading and craft and baking and housecleaning is, if not productive writing wise, at least productive in other ways. Also there’s increasing mountains of evidence that too much time online, coupled with the frequent reward hit that social media gives your brain does bad things to your focus and attention span. So it’s time for some time off to re-evaluate how I’m using it and what I really miss about it when I can’t use it.
What does a digital detox involve?
Optimally complete disengagement from digital devices and the interwebs. But as I said, I can’t totally turn off the internet and my device because of jobs and family. So, for the purposes of the next week, my digital detox consists of cutting down to what I’ve outlined below.
No social media, internet use only for day job stuff (luckily there are only 2 day job days to deal with thanks to Good Friday). I’ll try to resist the e-reader. I’m limiting my email checking (aiming for twice a day and only responding to stuff that actually needs responding too).
Ditto no phone games (I only play Words with Friends and do Sudoku) but out they go. I’m undecided if I’ll let myself do 1 Duolingo lesson a day. I actually think educational access is a good use of the internet. But it might be too easy to trip from that to other sources of phone based temptation. I can’t turn my phone off completely but am going to turn data off and stick to ye olde phone calls and texts. I’ll be turning all phone notifications off (not that I have many on anyway because they annoy me) and logging out of all my social media.
I am allowed to listen to music and podcasts and audiobooks on the phone because I do that in that background of other things. I’m going to read paper books and watch DVDs rather than streaming. Hopefully I’ll mostly be busy writing but also finding a bit of time for stuff I enjoy. I have prescheduled some posts on my FB pages but won’t be answering comments for a week.
So, see you in seven days! When hopefully I’ll be able to report back that I’ve finished my book, that I’ve spent some time doing some fun things, and on how I found the digital detox process….I’m not expecting it to be easy for the first few days and I’m expecting to be a little horrified about how often I reach for my phone to entertain myself then realise I can’t go online, so it will be interesting to see what happens.