How I Make Time For Myself By Taking A Weekend Digital Detox
Learn how this RL writer discovered the benefits of going offline for almost 48 hours every week
I've been working in the digital industry for a little over two years now. From being an advertising consultant at a Singapore-based agency to writing a daily churn of multiple stories about shelter, it's safe to say that this is the most hectic and exciting field of work there is. Clocking out isn't an option—you constantly have to observe audience behavior, create fresh content, manage social media accounts and the list goes on.
Aside from that—as if I don't already spend too much time on the Internet—I also go online for personal reasons like checking Facebook, posting on Instagram or watching vlogs on YouTube. One lazy afternoon, as I was aimlessy clicking on random videos, I came accross Estee Lalonde's 48-Hour Digital Detox. In the video, she challenged herself to go for two days without using her phone, watching TV, browsing the Internet, or playing on her iPad. Half a day into it, she was already bored and found it incredibly difficult to find things to do with her newfound free time.
I got curious as to how I would do and decided to try it for myself. Surprisingly, I didn't find it hard at all—in fact, I found it very therapeutic and it has become something that I do on a regular basis. With the few hours I have, I get to do things I enjoy like reading, recreational writing, watching films or cleaning my room. Since I still have a job to do, I check my phone for messages around twice a day just to see if someone is trying to get ahold of me for something urgent—but for the most part, I find that I don't get severe FOMO (fear of missing out) and I discovered how much I loved the quiet.
I also realized that everyone needs to take a break from moden technology every now and then. If escaping the blackhole that is the World Wide Web is taking its toll on you, here are some of my tips that can help you avoid replying to tweets and comments during your mini-hiatus:
1. Keep the Wi-Fi and your mobile data turned off. If you don't have the connection, you can't get lost browsing through websites or interacting on social media. If you have roommates, tell them about your detox so they can warn you if they need to use the Wi-Fi.
2. Keep your phone and other gadgets out of sight. If you're really struggling with avoiding going online, take away temptation by keeping your grown-up toys in a box or a drawer with a lock. Remember: out of sight, out of mind.
3. Find something productive to do. It doesn't have to be grand or extra special, too—it can be something as simple as folding laundry, washing the dishes and deep cleaning junk drawers or the pantry. Cutting down your screen time means gaining back hours of time to do things that are considerably more meaningful.
4. Take the time to rest and recollect. Being dependent on gadgets means having the world at your fingertips and boredom can be a thing of the past. However, it can also keep you distracted from coming up with great ideas. The next time you find yourself lost in thought, try to sit with it and see where it takes you.
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