No technology for 24 hours?!
Recently, I took a literal day off. I didn’t touch any digital devices (yes, even my Apple Watch) and spent an entire day in solitude. I kept having this urge to take a break and rest without having any distractions. The CEO of Bulletproof, Dave Asprey, has written about the numerous benefits of taking a digital hiatus (1).
“The impact of emerging technologies on various mental functions” has been a focus for quite a while now (2). Constant consumption of digital technology has lessened our attention span and memory. Our attention span has decreased from about 12 seconds to 8 seconds in the last 20 years (3). Technology is useful for the distribution and consumption of knowledge but it impacts our cognition, so we should be concerned.
So, what did I do when during this digital detox? Did I get bored? No, not at all.
Most people don’t recognize the benefits of journaling. You can address personal issues and think out loud. If you choose to write about your daily activities, then you have a record of your memories. If you’re like me, then you might enjoy writing about specific situations. I like to tap into problems and find solutions to “release” any emotions that don’t serve me through writing. During my day of solitude, I wrote throughout the day whenever something I needed to address came up.
I love reading. I usually read on an iPad or listen to an audiobook, but I rarely buy physical books. It takes a few days for the book to deliver, and sometimes it’s easier to listen to a book on 2x speed. During my detox, I read an actual book instead and it was a nice change.
Tapping into creativity
I made numerous lists and wrote any cool ideas I had for future endeavors. It helped me have more clarity and allowed me to think freely. I also painted a sunset, which is my happy place, and made pancakes in the morning with my favorite toppings.
Spending time outside
I walked outside a few times throughout the day to get some fresh air. Later that day, my sister called us out because there was a beautiful sunset. It ended up reminding me of what I painted earlier and was the perfect ending to the day.
The moral of the story is: take a digital detox. Try resting without spending the entire day on your phone or watching TV. Take out time to think, address any issues, spend quality time with yourself, and destress. Adding this as a regular habit can reap more benefits than you can imagine. Of course, it’s not easy to do this, so you can start by spending a few hours without technology and you will notice the positive effects. Comment your experience if you decide to do this :)