As Easter approaches I’m diving into a week-long digital holiday. I haven’t actually done a proper digital holiday for a couple of years, but my whole being has been screaming for it, and it seems like a very good time to switch off and unplug. Being in nature is really all I’m in the mood for right now, and in amongst a bit of wet weather, I’ll be getting as much green time as I possibly can.
Thankfully, I have some fantastic music and meditations downloaded onto my phone so I can still use my device a little bit offline, so it’s the best of both worlds.
Getting offline obviously doesn’t just unplug us from our actual phone or iPad etc, it unplugs us from the internet, social media, email and even phone calls. It’s an excellent way of putting boundaries in – even for an hour of peace when you want to catch up on some quiet reading, take a nap or do some meditation. Mini digital holidays for an afternoon, evening or a weekend are also very worthwhile and easy to do.
Escaping media and news right now is a particularly smart thing to do. I’m not sure there are too many people in my community who are still watching mainstream media, but it can be tempting if you feel that you should be staying informed. We just need to stop and think about what being informed actually means and where to get real and worthwhile information. It’s probably not mainstream media – certainly not in New Zealand, that’s for sure. In case you still feel compelled to keep track of mainstream news, catch my blog about engaging with media.
I think we all need reminding from time to time that, as phenomenal as our technology is, it’s very easy to become a slave to it. I prefer to be driving my devices and determining when and how they play a role in my life. I’ve certainly had patches of time where I’ve felt overly attached to my phone, constantly checking for messages or social media notifications etc., and it’s well documented now what kind of dopamine hit we get every time we see a message or a post. It is literally addictive.
But is it nourishing us and adding quality to our life?
Of course, being intentional is really where our power comes from, so perhaps just being intentional this week with technology and media might make a noticeable and pleasant difference.
If you’re not sure how to start being intentional about switching off, I found these tips really helpful. I hope they help you too:
1. Schedule time during your day where you’re away from a screen – get outside, go for a walk or to just eat lunch away from your desk
2. Take breaks from technology – delete the apps that you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through
3. Turn off your phone at night and leave it off until morning
4. Create no-phone areas – the bedroom is an obvious one
5. Reach out for help if your screen time is interfering with your daily living
And here are some helpful tips about reducing screentime and keeping devices in perspective day to day.
With Easter coming up (or whatever holiday is on the horizon) how do you want to engage and what role would you like your devices to play? Would you like them available for certain things or do you feel like switching off completely for a few days? There are some great tips here if you really want a decent digital detox!