Anxiety. Stress. Nervousness. That’s how I would describe in three words life when you are trying to stay up-to-date with everything that happens around you. I have been on an emotional roller coaster lately, so I decided to make an experiment. I went on a digital detox for a week to see what happens.
I set myself a goal to limit the time spent on social media platforms, checking them once or maximum twice a day. A while ago, I also stopped even touching my phone in the first hour of the morning and one hour before going to bed. This helped me start and end my day in a calm and peaceful way, without rushing or worrying.
I started this experiment because I was constantly feeling the urge to get my dopamine hit from checking any updates. I was doing this in a compulsive way that got me hooked on my phone. It was the fear of missing out on something, the fear of losing an opportunity or not replying fast enough to a text message. This need of feeling ‘connected’ to the outside world and everything that happens is not necessarily something bad, but it’s rather the way we choose to do it that becomes harmful. I recognize my addiction and thinking long-term, I don’t want to let this take over my life.
So as Leo Babauta in his book ‘Focus’ said, the easiest way to change a bad habit is to replace it with a good one. So I’ve tried to replace checking any news or notifications with reading. That’s how I managed to finish a book in just a couple of days. You can also try going for a walk, taking some deep breaths, listening to soothing, calm music, exercising, or whatever you feel like it works for you. Notice your triggers and discipline yourself to resist the temptation. Character is build over time, so be patient.
I finally had enough time to work on the most important things for me, at a slower pace. No rushing, no urge to do anything else, but focus. In the era of information, it’s quite easy to get distracted every second, as there are so many things that beg for our attention: commercials, phone calls, messages, apps notifications and so on. These things are killing any possible will of being productive, so the further you stay away from them, the better. I’m not suggesting you should isolate yourself completely from any devices or distractions. Just learn how to take control over your life and concentrate on the things that matter the most.
What I’ve noticed since I started the digital detox:
- I am way calmer
- I enjoy silence more than ever before
- I am productive
- I am making conscious decisions
- I am able to focus
- I am less anxious and stressed
- I have more time for me and for creating
The choice of disconnecting showed me a different perspective. Not being available every time is not selfish. Not being up-to-date with the latest news doesn’t make you stupid. You’re not losing anything if you gained peace and clarity of mind. It’s your time and you decide what you want to do with it and how you use it. Personal choices are not debatable.
So if you need some time for yourself, or if you just want to get away from the buzz of the modern life, I encourage you try this disconnection cleanse. Test it and notice the results yourself.