“No one ever said on their deathbed, ‘Gee, I wish I had spent more time alone with my computer’.” ~ Danielle Berry
Last week, I decided to have a technology detox (aka techno detox) for 24hrs, which meant no computers, no internet, no smartphones and no gadgets during this time. I have noticed that many hours of my day is spent on my computer, either surfing the internet, writing or attempting to write and getting hooked on social media sites like Facebook. I have noticed that it has become such an established habit that it burns up a lot of my spare time. I’ve also noticed that my body feels tight, stiff and my eyes strained at the end of most days.
I knew it was time to confront this habit and look at ways to break it down. So, a 24hr detox was a good place to start. Last Thursday was the day for me. It was a working day for me teaching English and in this job there is no need to use a computer so I knew it was possible. During and after the 24-hour period I reflected and noticed a number of benefits received from the experience.
This is not my first techno detox I might add, for I have done it a few times in the past usually when I’ve participated in yoga or meditation retreats. These are different though because they pull you out of your day-to-day life, which in many ways makes it easier. To do a techno detox in the middle of your usual day-to-day life is more challenging yet so beneficial. When I reflect upon these times and the day I had last week, every time I have done a technology detox I have never had any negative effects from it or felt like I’ve missed out on anything. Here are the main benefits that I noticed:
1. I didn’t miss anything.
Nothing was urgent and couldn’t be acted upon a day or two later. Therefore, there was actually no real need to use the computer for that day at all.
2. I felt like I had a lot more time.
I had so much free time that day that I did more things that I enjoy, like yoga, stretching, reading books and cooking yummy food.
3. It felt like a holiday.
Often when we have a weekend or a holiday we are still glued to our computers and gadgets and it got me wondering, are we really having a break? When I didn’t use the computer for the whole day, I felt more calm and relaxed than I do after a weekend using the computer.
4. I felt more present and focused on what I was doing.
When you take away the option of checking your phone or email after every task, then it feels like you are much more engaged on what you are doing as there is no anticipation or reward after completing a task.
5. More time for contemplation.
It gave me an opportunity to contemplate the projects I’m currently working on and provided more clarity on what to focus on next.
6. I made better food choices.
Food became a more important part of my day and because I had a few more minutes than usual, I took more time to choose and prepare my food.
7. My energy levels were steadier throughout the day.
I didn’t seem to have waves of “brain fog” that I sometimes experience when I regularly use my computer throughout the day.
8. My eyes and neck felt more relaxed and less strained than usual.
Using computers and gadgets usually triggers my head to be drawn forward on the shoulders and at the end of the day it can leave my eyes and neck strained. This was not the case after the day of detox.
I got so much out of the 24hr techno detox that I’m going to do it at least one day every month from now on. I would like to invite you to try it for yourself.