Friday 2 September 2016

Life: A Two Week Digital Detox

digital detox french foodie in dublin

So as you know I've been blogging for four years now which pretty much means I've been connected to the Internet and my social media platforms every single day since I started.

I have the blog plus Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat, Pinterest and even Google +... that's a lot right? But wait, I also have social media for my Delicious Dublin Tours and I'm a freelance social media manager on top of that which means my phone and notifications go off ALL DAY long because I'm managing other people's accounts on top of mine... 

I try to have a work/life balance so it means I usually try to unplug in the evening for at least an hour before bed, usually more. I also keep my phone in my bag when I'm with friends or family and try not to use it too much. The exception is if I go to a press event where it's pretty much ok (and weird I have to say) to be antisocial and stuck to your phone. 

Even though I try to have a balance in the last few months I've been finding it difficult to use social media for 'pleasure' and not associate it with work which means I feel I've been connecting/working non-stop.

Recently I needed a real break from it all and that's why I had a digital detox for two weeks. I had the perfect opportunity: my honeymoon. There was no way I would share and use social media during this time so I turned off everything... and really enjoyed it!  

If you're thinking of going unplugged and going on a little digital detox, I'd advise you to just go for it! Here are my few tips and observations for a successful digital detox:

How did I do my digital detox?

  • I decided to do it during my holidays away from home
  • I turned off all my electronics and didn't bring them with me
  • I brought an old school Nokia and gave the number to my family and cat-sitter in case of emergency but it wasn't a smartphone and didn't have a camera on it.
  • I brought a disposable camera and a polaroid, pictures weren't perfect but at least it meant not having my phone in my hands all the time. I had a digital camera for three days out of the two weeks but I don't think it was cheating.
  • Mr. FFID also went on a digital detox, that's much easier if the person you're with is ditching electronics too.
What happened during my digital detox?

I read 

I try to read at home in the evening but sometimes the phone wins. During my detox, I read more, faster and really enjoyed it.

I slept so well

I'm pretty sure using screens all day and scrolling down on my phone affects my sleep and I have to say I had the best sleep ever!

I lived the moments fully

It was so much better to see a beautiful landscape through my eyes as opposed to through my phone lens or to have proper conversations without the distractions of a mobile phone.

I completely disconnected from work

For once I couldn't check my emails first thing in the morning or in bed which meant I completely turned off my working mind, I was totally relaxed.

I used maps

I realised I could still find my way without having to use Google map, with an old school map. 

I ate my food straight away

Yes, as a blogger I always take pictures of my food and it was a nice break from the usual to just focus on the food itself.

I felt different

It was rather weird when we were on a train to see everyone around us using their smartphones and scrolling down even when they were with people. We also saw a couple who spent their times on their phones while having lunch in a café next to us which made us delighted not to have phones with us.

The World didn't come to an end

The world went on just fine without me posting a picture of my lunch or posting a gif on Twitter. It's more than ok to be offline for two weeks and I didn't experience any FOMO at all.

I totally enjoyed my digital detox and I think besides the fact I was away it really helped me to feel totally rested. I think from now on I will try to allow myself more, at least during my time off. I didn't experience any withdrawal symptoms and felt totally free. Instagram was probably the social media platform I missed the most, especially when I saw something pretty but I still got on fine without it.

Now you know everything about my digital detox. If you're not sure if you'd be able to live without electronics now you have the proof. If a blogger can do it, you're more than able for it!

Have you tried a digital detox before? Would you like to give it a go? Let me know your thoughts in the comments or feel free to ask any questions you may have.