Digital detox, I’m sure you’ve heard those words before. For the last few centuries, we have been creating technology to be more connected with each other and to help us in our everyday lives to now look for ways to cut down on our digital intake and make time to connect with people in real life, ironic, isn’t it? It turns out that technology doesn’t help us to be so connected after all, sure you can message your mate in Australia at any minute you want and get an instant response but in real life, we struggle with social interactions.
Myself as many others, can’t imagine their life without a phone and constant access to the internet. I got my first phone at the age of 8, which I know is young but it literally could only make calls and send texts so I was never really bothered about it and my obsession with it faded within a few days. The real game-changer appeared with the release of smartphones and apps, at that point a whole new world opened up. I remember when Snapchat was a brand new thing and everyone was obsessed with the concept of sending pictures that disappear in a few seconds, then there was the snapchat filter craze and all you would see is everyone with the dog filter, which I must say I’m really glad people stopped using. Anyway, my point is it’s hard to imagine a time before smartphones and apps, they are just part of our everyday lives and sometimes they affect us in negative ways without us realising.
It wasn’t until recently that I started correlating my phone usage with how I was feeling. Whenever my phone usage was high I would tend to feel unmotivated, unhappy and just shit about myself in general. The highest screentime I’ve had was probably about 45 hours a week, which makes it just under 7 hours a day (insert lots of shocked emojis here), with the leading app being Instagram. That was a real wake up call for me when I thought about all the things I could be doing in those 7 hours, and it made me really ashamed of myself how I say that I don’t have time for this or that, well duh I don’t have time because I spend all my time on my phone. Once I acknowledged the truth, I decided that it’s time to change something and take action and stop mindlessly scrolling through Instagram and instead make a conscious effort to do actual meaningful things that will make me happy or improve my life in some way.
Obviously, my first step was going on Google to do some research on how to do a digital detox (how ironic). By Google digital detox is defined as a ‘period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.’ Working in an office and as a blogger, I wasn’t really in a position to just stop using technology completely for a week and fuck off for a yoga retreat in the middle of nowhere. But what I did do was turn off my notifications on all my apps, so I wasn’t tempted to check my phone as soon as one pops up. The ‘do not disturb’ feature also came in really handy, especially in the evenings you can just set your alarms for the next day, put the do not disturb on and put your phone somewhere far from reach so you’re not tempted to check when you’re falling asleep. Try having an evening and morning routine that doesn’t involve your phone or checking your e-mails. After a few days, you will realise that you don’t actually need to know what your friends are doing every minute of the day, what new product Kylie Jenner is releasing or what’s the latest meme everyone is obsessed with. Your priorities will shift, you will start caring about more important things and you will start noticing things that you haven’t before.
I really hope that this post is a wake-up call for some of you and that from time to time you will put your phone down to appreciate the moment because life’s too short to spend it looking at your phone constantly.
Dress – Pretty Little Thing (from last year before I was aware of the effects of fast fashion), Bag – Pretty Little Thing, Shoes – Converse (they are trying to be a more sustainable brand e.g Converse has made sneakers from recycled plastic and unwanted jeans)