An Offline State of Mind: Why Online Detoxes are a Must
It’s almost the start of another new year! As you may have noticed, Facebook, Instagram and other social media networks are showing us our year in pictures, our most liked photos and so on. It’s basically a summary of each of the users’ respective year in just one click. Isn’t it quite astounding how all of our lives are not just offline anymore? It’s the generation of connectivity, of Google searches, of social media. It’s a totally different platform, nay, arena where personal and professional lives are broadcasted- which contribute to both happiness and stress in various scenarios. But the question is, is your digital self dominating your life and leaving the offline self behind?
With today’s tech-savvy culture, the idea of unplugging is quite preposterous. We are consuming so much information every day, just in one click. It’s fast, it’s convenient, it’s entertaining. Unplugging even just for a few hours feels weird because being online takes a chunk of our daily routines. Not having a feed to browse, a video to watch or a text to reply to become the causes of the feelings of boredom, and dysconnectivity. We start forgetting about the simple, traditional ways to enjoy life- without having to pull out our phones. And unplugging, or in this case- digital detoxing- is a way to ironically reconnect with yourself and those around you.
Detoxes are usually associated with food diets that claim to cleanse your body from harmful toxins. Similarly, online or digital detox cleanses your body as well, not just your mind. According to a 2015 research study by Fast Company, in which neuroscientists observed 35 people in the Moroccan desert who were stripped off from any technological devices, astounding results followed the research such as better posture, improved memory, and better sleep for the respondents. Conversations also grew deeper, as people can now start talking organically without using the pictures, posts on their phones to gossip on as conversational topics, or Google searches to aid trivia questions. Technology has changed not only how people think, but how people live their lives. It affects not only our mental health but also our physical health! Hence, online and digital detoxes are a must- at least once every few weeks. Gain a new perspective and try it, you might find it refreshing. Let’s start your journey to making your digital life healthier. Read the following below to begin:
- Where are you now? #KeepingItReal
- Let’s keep it real: a lot of your life is online.
Over 4 billion people are using the internet at the moment. I’m one them, and you all, our Dress My Desk readers, are obviously one of those 4 billion too! To be clear, being online is not necessarily reprimanded here– until you feel like it’s keeping you up at night, both literally and figuratively. As my mom always say “Too much of anything is bad.” Involving so much of your life online can backfire- it can cause you anxiety, stress and so much more. “How many likes will this get?”, “Do I look good in this selfie?”, “I should post something or else people will see me as this anti-social human being.” Social media is now the platform where everybody broadcasts their lives, from celebrities to ordinary people.
- Let’s keep it simple: keep your offline life alive and kicking too.
We tend to forget how to live without a phone, a tablet or a laptop. Imagine a room without those three. Wouldn’t everyone, especially nowadays, feel quite uncomfortable? Technology sometimes become a security blanket, a savior to awkward situations and to boredom. But acknowledging the presence of your offline life can also do wonders. You become more patient and appreciative.
2. What is the goal? #DetoxGoals
You are reading this article because you want to change something in your life- specifically in your online life! And so, what is your ultimate goal as you try out a digital detox? Is it too get rid of toxic people on the Internet? Is it to increase your productivity? Know your goal, it will make it easier for you to do. Our 5-day detox guide for girl bosses below is a general guide to better your digital life hence boosting efficiency and mood at work.
3. How can I start? #OneStepAtATime
Congratulations! You’ve made it this far. So, how do you actually prepare to leave your beloved smartphone and iPads behind?
- Keep your tech physically away
Ask somebody from your family or from your friends to take your phone away from you on a Sunday. You can also store your phones and iPads somewhere, and get it after the full day has ended. This will help your self-control.
- Try journaling
Say a temporary goodbye to typing and start writing with a pen! Journaling is a good exercise to enhance your memory, and boost productivity. Writing out your experiences, feelings and even your schedules can help keep your thoughts crisp, clear and organized. Dress My Desk journals can be your new best friend!
- Do something that does not involve any technology.
It’s as simple as cooking your favorite meal from scratch or cleaning your closet (for once!). You’d be surprised how good it feels after each activity. It is indeed a refreshing feeling to do all your errands, and hobbies without seeing screens all day.
Nowadays, being offline is an actual state of mind. It’s a rarity in some cases, but never impossible as long as you put an effort in it as well. With the number of people with mental health issues rising all over the world, and social media feeding us with likes and validation, it is indeed quite overwhelming to live in this online-crazy world. To my dear readers, disciplining yourself to do digital detoxes can impact your lives in the long-run. I recommend you to try it! One day- detoxes can already do wonders. It only takes a little bit of self-control, and a whole lot of hobbies and activities to choose from.
- Grace Greene