Picture: “Modern Prison” by Banksy

It’s about Time

Lately I’ve seen myself using my digital devices -my screens- much more than I’d like.
I already have an addictive tendency, and I find it tricky sometimes
to relate to these devices in a way that feels truly healthy and holistic.

They make up such a big part of our lives in this age:
Serving business purposes, finding information and staying up-to-date,
connecting socially, for entertainment, and as a means to find instant gratification.

In a way I love my laptop and smartphone. They’re such nifty little devices.
They make life easier, and open up endless possibilities.
On the other hand they give me a headache, sometimes literally.

Because when I use them it feels like my mind gets fragmented.
They’re so full of enticing potential distractions,
I need quite a lot of self-discipline to use them in a way that feels nourishing.

Drastic Measures

So I made a resolve: I’m going on a digital detox.

There are many ways to do this, but my particular strategy is to basically ban digital devices from my home.
Some steps need to be taken fully, because halfway is simply not going to cut it.

Otherwise it would be like trying to quit sugar, and having a cupboard full of sweets,
while telling myself: ”I will simply not have them”.
Yeah right!

I still use my trusty little gadgets whenever I’m out of the house,
for instance when I travel, or when I go to my favorite wifi-place in town.

But whenever I’m at home, it’s distraction-free time. Well, at least digital distraction.
I’ll have books, plants, nature, real human connection, music, silence, that sort of stuff.

Dedicate and commit

My initial detox will be one month, but my intention is to form a habit for life.
I will dedicate my time to being here and now for real.

I expect to feel more relaxed, take things slower and have more time.
More time to read, more time to dance, more time for friends.
Time to sense, and simply be.

Research

Here’s some research I found on something that seems to be quite epidemic in our modern world*:

  • 61% admit to being addicted to the internet and their devices
  • 67% of cellphone owners find themselves compulsively checking their device
  • 50% of people prefer to communicate digitally than in person
  • Heavy internet users are 2.5 times more likely to be depressed
  • High Social Media use can trigger an increase in loneliness, jealousy and fear
  • The average employee spends 2 hours a day recovering from distractions

The cure for addiction is connection

Here’s a very interesting little clip on addiction.

In short, what it shows is that we people have a natural inclination to seek connection.
It’s hardwired in our biology.

Whenever we lack real connection in our lives, we’ll seek to connect to something else.
Like a screen for instance. Or a substance.
It’s just the way we work.

In this “digital world” it can seem harder to have that real connection with
people when it’s so easy to connect digitally.

I feel fortunate to be part of a big network of dancers, bodyworkers, tantric practitioners,
authentic men and conscious women, so it’s relatively easy to make that connection.

Even so, I still find myself getting hooked from time to time.
Which is probably due to living with computers from the age of six.

It’s hard for me to imagine what it must be like for the generation that is born
into today’s world of IPhones and IPads.
Attention deficit anyone?

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Welcome to the Real World

So yes: I’m going to disconnect from the virtual world,
in order to connect more deeply to the real world.

Here’s where it’s at:
The here and now, the only place in town, or anywhere else for that matter.

So how about you?
If you’re honest to yourself, do you recognize this issue?

How might some form of digital detox serve you?
Or maybe you want to learn how I go about making this work?

Let me know in the comments, and let’s inspire each other
to a real and more connected way of living.

Thanks for reading!
Roald

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*Resource: digitaldetox.org

6 gedachten over “Digital Detox”

  1. I think you have to use the digital things useful. I have a TV but I only use it when it’s useful for me and that’s not so often. I use the TV mostly for the news (teletekst).

    I am not a reader so books are nothing for me.

    I like my laptop and iPhone. It’s something so special. I designed my own website, I have now also my own e-mail marketing system. It’s amazing that I can do that.

    I normally used my iPhone for the What’s apps. To see all the pictures and video’s from my grandson. Facebook so beatiful. E-mails a miracle.
    But I agree with Ronald that I am the boss and not the digital stuff. And for me that’s sometimes the case when I am travelling by train and I have nothing to do. I constantly checking my iPhone. Than I am not the boss. But at home I am the boss of the digital stuff.
    The digital stuff can’t replace the running, the dancing, the walking, the women, etc.

    I think if you throw out all the digital stuff from your home that’s a kind of weakness because you can’t control the stuff when it’s available.

    I think it’s the same with alcohol. Maybe you have alcohol at home but are you addicted to alcohol? Most of the people are not.

    So all the modern digital stuff you have to use when it’s necessary. At least this is valid for me 🙂

    1. Hi Leo,
      thanks for your reply.
      I absolutely agree that our digital devices give us many wonderful opportunities.

      You also say that throwing out the digital stuff is a weakness.
      Maybe you’re right.
      I’m ok with recognizing my “weakness” in dealing with these distraction-devices, and making a clear choice that helps me get stronger.

      Ok, gotta go enjoy the sunshine now. Speak soon!

  2. Check, might be an good idea for me also.
    It’s to easy to sit down behind a computer and let evenings pas by, unnoticed, disconnected. For me it’s hard to physically abandon my pc like you did, removing it out of your house. I don’t have that possibility and then I rely on wil power which is not the solid fundament that I’d need.

    I’ll try to find an app for that 😉

    1. Thanks for your reply!
      Hmm, let’s chat to find a way that does work for you.
      Willpower only goes so far. Good luck!

  3. How I apply it- I have Sundays off, that’s the time when I am screen free.

    Regarding the compulsive phone checking, recognising and acknowledging that I’m doing it usually makes a big difference for me already!

    1. Yes, recognizing it is a great first step, I agree.
      Palm trees are a great help too, I’ve heard 😉

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