What is digital detoxing?
Digital Detoxing is the idea to let go of your phone and disconnecting from the ever-connected world. No social media. No news. Nothing.
It is so popular right now that you wouldn’t find even a single search result for “why (it) won’t work” on YouTube.
Forty days ago, I decided to hop on the band-wagon, too. To begin with, I gave up my Instagram and boy did I not regret doing so.
Is it helpful?
Yes, it is helpful. But only if you are planning on living aloof from the rest of the world.
You can’t just “unplug” yourself and go on with your life as though nothing happened.
After I deleted my Instagram account, it really felt quite liberating. I got a significant amount of free time at hand, started reading more and reduced my screen-time by almost 90 minutes. However, this only lasted for a short time until the covid lockdown was lifted.
Once I started meeting my friends, and attending classes, I experienced serious FOMO. It was like every other conversation around me would be somehow connected to a post or a trend on IG. Every other guy would just pop out of nowhere and reference some quote he had read on IG. That feeling was dreadful.
I gave up after 40 days.
“Isn’t the whole point of detox to overcome this thing?”
Yes. It is. And let me tell you that I didn’t get back just to keep up with the trends.
After giving some thought, I actually concluded that the benefits of social media like the ability to finding your online tribe totally outweigh the downsides. It helps you meet new people and learn from them. It helps people understand who you are and gives them a pretext to start a conversation in real-life.
Your phone is just a tool. Like a fruit-knife in your house. Whether or not it is bad is decided by how you use it.
Is getting back bad?
It should be noted that defaulting back can have negative impact, too. If you do not plan on sticking with your decision for a long time, do not make it in the first place. Otherwise you will relapse even more badly than before.
“I have a very strong integrity. I won’t fail.” Well, good for you. But keep in mind that forcefully sticking with it requires a lot of mental energy. In which case, you might even be better off using Instagram freely rather than losing all your productivity just to abstain from doing so.
What about people that claim to be happy with it?
To be clear, I didn’t say that digital detoxing is a waste of time. It is helpful. But for me, the benefits of my phone outweigh its downsides.
A 30-days challenge to finish your project is a great idea. In fact, I would insist you do so. But I am just not in favour of “life-time” challenges.
Besides, those people that do it don’t really have much to say. They mostly belong to the group that portrays technology as some kind of evil.
You escape the internet, and you escape the society, too.
Your phone isn’t toxic. Your relationship with it is. Fix it.
Hack back the same technology to work “for you” instead of working “against you."
Block notifications, use time-trackers, limit your screen-time with apps like “Freedom” and you can easily regain control.