It seems at least a few times a month I hear from someone who's considering a digital detox.
You look at the current world: notifications, apps, websites, emails, gmails, texts, tumblr, twitter, tinder, facebook, secret, instagram, hangouts, facetime, games, youtube, netflix, stream this, download that.
And then you look back to the days before all ^that^. Just 10 years ago we lived in a world that, for the most part, existed right in front of you instead of through the looking glass of the latest fad digital device.
There's a lot of problems to be found in today's digital world:
So you're stressed out, depressed, lonely, pissed off. Time to cut the digital cord, right? WRONG.
Long before the Internet existed, Buddha had this to say about it:
“From craving grief arises,
Deleting your Facebook account is like chopping off a huge limb of a tree. It immediately feels lighter, it lets the sunlight in, it's refreshing. But the roots, the problems you found in Facebook, they're all still there. The tree will grow back, you'll either reactivate your account or find another similar outlet. The addiction, loneliness, and jealousy continues.
Digital detox is a purge after years of binge. It's going from one extreme to another without dealing with the root of the problem.
Why not take a moderate approach? Take some small steps every day to prune the tree of our digital addiction:
My monthly challenge for August was to turn off notifications for non-essential apps. In September, I'm going to take this one step further: I'm logging out.
I'm not going to delete my Facebook account, I actually enjoy it and friendships and other connections I have there. But I also don't want it to be a distraction. I don't want it to feel consuming, to be the first thing I do when I'm bored and the last thing I do at night. I want trim the tree a little every day -- make my social media use smaller, more casual.
For at least 2 hours every day I'm logging out of Facebook and Instagram. Just a small pruning. Just a little a barrier between me and distraction.
I challenge you all to do the same. Give it a try for one month, start with something small and easy. If at the end of the month it's made no difference in your life, then by all means log back in and let your phone buzz at you. Either way, you'll learn something about yourself. No harm no foul.