Digital Detox by Accident

Taking a five-day break from Facebook will lower your physiological stress levels

(BPS, 2018)

If you’re keen to get offline and detox then here’s my blog in 20 words to save you staying online any longer than you need to...

- Book a few days away.

- Choose somewhere with non-existent wifi.

- Turn off wifi and mobile data upon arrival.

- Enjoy!

If you’re not ready to give up your screen time just yet, then read on.

My main aim online is to share information that will help people to move forward with their goals, feel less overwhelmed, make and action their plans, and build confidence in themselves. I don't rely on likes from Facebook, so what's the issue?

Well, I have several goals that I want to achieve and not enough time or energy.

Having looked at how I spend my time and energy, I'm wondering what I could do instead of spending time on my tablet that isn’t very productive.

What did I do before I got a tablet? How can I use my ‘tablet time’ more wisely? Do I need a tablet?

Mobile phone screen held in hand with thumbnail images on screen

My Accidental Detox begins...

By complete surprise (read: not out of choice!), I spent a few days away turned out to be in a location which had limited wifi in a very tiny outside space, and then it was patchy.

I made the decision not to log in from the garden flower bed.

And so my digital detox began... Without warning...

No more checking my app to see what the weather was doing the next day. Instead, watch the TV forecast.

No more news apps to check in the morning. Instead, listen to the radio.

No more reading on my tablet. Instead, it was a case of hunting out some books from the basket under the stairs that had been left behind by previous guests. Instead of carefully chosen books, I read a story that I would otherwise not have chosen (and which turned out to be incredible!)

Like a lot of people, I don’t want to fully miss out on work emails so I did check those once each (week) day using whatever wifi I could find. But this was a mindful daily check rather than an hourly login in case I’d missed something.

What happened next?

Now that I’m home again, I have noticed that I’m less inclined to look at a screen outside of work time. I’m also more likely to single-screen too. That is, if there is something to watch on TV, then my tablet gets put away and I just watch the television.

Now, I’m not against tech. It’s making my life so much easier and adds to it in many ways. But I think for me it’s now about being mindful and knowing when my brain is being tricked into making ‘just one more click’ when I should be logging off.

Be mindful. Not habitual. Then you'll be in control of your screen time.

Are you ready for a digital holiday?

If you want a break from your screen, then you’re not without advice. Today’s web search for ‘digital detox’ turned up nearly 3.5 million results including an organisation dedicated to the mindful use of digital devices. (The irony of searching online for information hasn’t escaped me!)

One of my favourite articles (short and simple) is on Forbes from 2014; the digital detox is not a new thing.

And if you’re not ready to log off just yet then try this fun online quiz from

Be warned - there are so many resources on here that it may impact your ability to log off :)

My 4 step plan

So, read all the articles you want. But if you want to learn from my experience then don’t plan it. Just do it. Scary but simple!

If you’re not working this bank holiday, then why not test out my 4 point plan?

Switch off wifi and mobile data on your phone so it’s accepting phone calls only. You might want to put your social media apps into a folder so they’re less obvious on your screen - helpful when you still need to carry a phone in case of calls. Put your tablet (and laptop) in the cupboard so you can’t see it. Go and enjoy your screen free weekend - go outside, phone friends, meet family, read a print book. I hear the weather is going to be great for most of the UK so it’s a great excuse! And yes, I did get this information from a televised forecast :) When you do get back online after the weekend, tell me how it went.

  • What surprised you the most?

  • What did you learn?

  • What will you do differently as a result of this detox?

Right now, I’m logging off to head outside since the blue skies have just returned after a long period of drizzle and grey. I am taking my phone in case of emergencies, but otherwise will be offline for the next hour of so…

Enjoy your screen free weekend!

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