Sunday, 13 January 2019

Why Not Have a Digital Detox in 2019 | The Ultimate Guide

I still find this quite a funny concept, being a travel writer in the year where everything is accessible via your computer, tablet and better yet… your phone. I never remember being at one point addicted to being on my phone, I loved the innovativeness of new apps coming out and taking selfies on different effects but never wanting to be on it all the time. I 100% now feel the urge, for different reasons but I know I don’t want or need to be on my phone all the time. Everything is on my phone, my emails, messages and social media. Being off social media for a few days is easy, it is being disconnected. 

Sounds ridiculous, but I always strive to do something everyday and be my best self and sometimes that is waiting for an email for a job or writing content for my blog. There is so much pressure that we forget to sign off from our phones and enjoy the present. I am not talking about being on Instagram 24/7 either, but also for the workaholics who can’t stay away from their emails. Since moving, and having limited access to the Internet my work has improved so much and I put more effort into the work I do online as the time is precious. By limiting the time spent online, I work harder when I have wi-fi, so the work gets done I can spend more time with family. Why don’t you do the same this year and make it a resolution for 2019?

2019 and The Internet

Internet Addiction, something that is becoming a well-known term especially in 2019. According to Mental Health website, in 2012 1-9% of the population had internet addiction …. I couldn’t imagine what the percentage is 6 years later with innovation of even more technology. 

However, as much as internet innovation is relatively new, the term internet addiction isn’t. I am very interested in the use of social media as I only see it as a positive thing and use it that way. Psycom revealed that it was confirmed as a disorder in 1995 by Dr. Ivan Goldberg M.D and was compared to gambling. I can see how with the younger generation wanting to be on the same apps as their peers/idols and wanting to keep up with everyone. It can be the same as the workaholic who never leaves their email and any other reason to be on the internet. 

However, I am not saying you need an addiction to have a digital detox even if you just want a break for a day. It is also right to mention that internet and social media can have many benefits. It connects people from all over the world, have access to creating memories and needing information at the time we need it. 

Questions YOU need to ask yourself before going on a detox!!

Who Am I Doing This For?

This is a two part answer. Firstly, who benefits when you spend all your time on social media? If you are doing this purely for your satisfaction, fine, but if it is making you feel drained and lethargic…. Is it worth it? Think, do I really need to spend this much time on social media when it isn’t benefiting anyone and only puts more pressure on myself? 

Are you online for someone else? Whether is it waiting for that text from a person you like (I have been there) or for work? Obviously if it means a lot to you, I get it, get excited when that text or email comes in. Don’t let it consume you. I remember really having strong feelings for this guy in Barcelona, after we ended for a week I was obsessed with checking my Whatsapp to see if the read sign went blue. Then it clicked to me that no one was benefiting to this, so I made a commitment to myself to delete the app. When we met up 4 months later, I was a better and stronger person because of it and we got on better than ever … the little things. 

Secondly, who should you do the digital detox in 2019 for? YOURSELF. You can’t put quality time, effort or love into relationships/friendships without appreciating yourself first. I honestly found that by focusing on myself and building myself up, I became a better person to be around and had WAY more compassion for others. So if the internet is taking you away from that, take it back. 

But I Need It For Work 

Completely understand this. My job partly relies on using the Internet. So does my blog, so running that alongside each other is difficult. I also have limited access to wi-fi at home, I only pay for a certain amount so need to be careful how much I use. I obviously use work’s internet for work stuff, but the blog? The majority of the time on my work days, I will go into a café for two hours before work and cram as much work in. This is so those two days off a week, I have no need to be on the Internet. Since doing this for four weeks, my stats have gone crazy. Not that it matters, however I am producing quality content and seeing the results. My best advice, is to limit the time spent on the Internet for work and prioritise tasks needed. I can’t explain it, perhaps read the 4 Hour Work Week book. I have reduced the number of hours extra of work and seen better results. If you are in social media, obviously use a social media scheduling app. Prioritise and schedule in advance. Way better productivity.

I Can’t Live Without It

Who said that?? Well it definitely wasn’t your parents, teacher or any other influential person out there. I am not saying have a digital detox in 2019 for the whole year, of course we need Internet. However, take 2 days off if you can, perhaps even a week. As long as your work and messages are done, you can relax. 

10 Step Solution to a Digital Detox in 2019

Right, here are the top ten tips that have helped me to reduce my Internet usage and manage my time better. Try one of these a month or a week, it says it takes 3 weeks for a habit to become a lifestyle or a permanent change. I also got inspired by this post form Cosmopolitan and realised I had given myself a detox without realising.

1 – Limit Your Time Online 

Another reason to do this is to also help with your bank balance, because those add-ons do add up! However, back to the main reason. Other than being on my work’s computer and going to a café before work to do blog work I rarely use at home. One reason is because I have limited wi-fi, but also because I work 40-45 hours a week having time with family and friends rather than being stuck on my laptop. If you HAVE to use your laptop/phone everyday, that is fine, but perhaps limit yourself to 1 hour a day if you can. 

I do around 30 minutes to 1 hour a day, sometimes I can go days without using the internet at home. But how? I use my work days effectively to get blog work done, I read the very popular book “The Four Hour Work Week” and since then I have changed my ethos. Before I head to work, I spend 1-2 hours getting 5 days – 7 days worth of blogging done. That equals more quality time at home and my blog has been more successful. Prioritise which internet-related tasks are important and do them during work breaks and limit your time online. 

2 – List Reasons Why You Use It And The Effect Of It

If the need of using the internet is becoming too much or you think it is starting to change you just take a break. During that break list the reasons why you use the internet and if it is even worth it. If it is, just take a 5 minute break from what is causing you stress. If it isn’t worth it, think what is causing you stress and how you can eliminate it. If it something little like a photo sharing app or social networking app, delete it, if it is work-related put less pressure on yourself.  

3 – List The Dream Of Using The Internet 

Okay, so I may have elaborated a bit when I say the dream. Write down your ideal situation when using the internet. For example, I only really use the internet now for blogging and I used it everyday to post twice a week. However, I only wrote and scheduled two posts a week and could feel the future posts catching up with me if I missed one day of writing. So I wrote down goals. I knew that I wanted to prepare more content and social media and spend more time on myself and having ideas for my blog. 

Somehow I got my act together, made a draft schedule for my writing and social media (within my internet time limit) and created the content on time. I now have posts scheduled up to at least a month I advance and my stats have been through the roof (not that it matters to me). 

4 – Eliminate Bad Stuff and Apps 

Snapchat? Hardly use any more. Facebook messenger, Netflix or any other app taking up too much room? Delete them. Unless they provide valuable information like emails of course. It helps that Apple and Sony phones seem to have declining storage allowances the older your phone gets. I mean it sucks, but by deleting apps that you don’t need anymore means less reason to be on your phone. 

5 –Alarm Clock 

If you are anything like me you have at least 20 alarm clocks on your phone, I always use it for reminders or to wake me up. However, when I wake up and hear my alarm I check my phone instantly because that is what my alarm is.
Change that by buying an actual clock with an alarm that doesn’t stop ringing, no matter how many times you try to stop it! At least you will be awake and have less time on your phone. I won’t be getting one because every time I do, I can never figure out how to work it. 

6 – Airplane Mode/Data Saving Mode

Because I have limited data/wi-fi at home, I turn off my data/put on airplane mode or data saving because it limits the amount of notifications to my phone or laptop. Therefore less reason to look at my phone/laptop, because guaranteed if anything like me, you want to look at your phone every time it rings?

I mean, if you can put your phone off for at least 2-24 hours for a plane journey you can do it for at least a day. 

7 – Spring Clean Social Media 

I have mentioned this before, but deleting apps is actually fab. Social Media is easily one of the most addictive parts of the internet, everyone is using them including friends, family and celebrities. Including Snapchat as the main example, it was easily the most popular app with run streaks and having these filters to send to your friends. There were so many articles about how Snapchat can be addictive. Then Instagram came and updated their app including stories and filters, however they were so much better and I stopped using Snapchat and most people do the same thing. 

The point is, stop using something if it has become pointless. 

8 – Get Outside and Do Something Different 

Oh my goodness, it took point 8 for me to mention going outside and exercising. It is a well-known fact that doing exercise can improve your mental well-being and it also means less time on the internet – make sure it is on airplane mode when you are listening to music of course! 

Get out and enjoy what the world has to offer instead of being stuck to your phone/tablet… says the girl writing this from her computer however this is during my time limited plan! Haha!

9 – Find Other Ways To Entertain Yourself

Of course you don’t just have to exercise, even just going out for lunch with family or drinks with mates. Put your phone on silent, place it in your pocket/bag and have a few hours away from it. Sorted. Your welcome.  

10 – Turn Off Notifications 

If you don’t do any of the above, do this one. The simplest way of avoiding anything on the internet. TURN OFF THE NOTIFICATIONS. Voila! 


I actually really liked writing this sort of non-travel related post, this is something I have done in the past month and loved the benefits of. The internet isn’t the be all and end all, it has it’s benefits and utilize them the best you can when you can. 
Of course, I am writing this a month before because I want to be prepared and also using my time more efficiently. 

However, I have just had my best view stats per day yet for my blog. 240 blog views for a day may not be a lot for someone, but it is for me and shows my effort going into the posts is working. Keep going for whatever you love doing because it is the best feeling. 

Mol xo


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