Social | November 26, 2015
10 Ways to Prepare for a Digital Detox
10 more pistachios, another cat GIF, a quick check of personal emails, a Vice article then straight into work mode. Oh wait a WhatsApp notification from Jenna
and a Snapchat from Joe. Ok, checked those. Time to work. Hang on, ONE MONTH UNTIL CHRISTMAS is trending on Twitter and New Look just announced 40% off. This can’t wait.
Exhausted? So are we. If you’re fed up of falling down the rabbit hole of digital, it’s time to hit refresh.
The first step is to work out just how debilitating your addiction is. Take our How Digitally Dependent Are You? quiz to see or alternatively keep a tally of how many times you check apps and devices in a working day. A tenner says you’ll be into double figures half an hour in.
Don’t believe us? The average human attention span has dropped from 12 seconds in 2000, to 9 seconds
in the current landscape*. A goldfish loses concentration in the same amount of time. Slightly perturbing.
#2 Hatch a Plan
Decide on a detox date and stick to it. Next, plan what to do with all the uninterrupted, free time you’re going to have. Without realising it, most of us spend all our downtime on the internet even when we think we’re doing real world stuff.
No Netflix, no Spotify, no Google Maps, no eBay, no Strava, no WhatsApp. Yikes. This is gonna take some effort.
#3 Set Goals
Figure out what you want to get out of your detox. Nobody expects you to travel to the moon or cure cystic fibrosis, but having a set of goals will save you from watching Countryfile in the foetal position.
It could be as simple as bonding with your sprog or as complicated as learning Japanese. Make a list of 3 things you want to achieve and shape your plan accordingly.
#4 Lay Down the Law
The internet is pretty darn moreish so naturally you might slip up once or twice. We suggest drawing up a contract with inconceivable forfeits to stay on the straight and narrow. Once completed, leave it with a housemate or spouse for safekeeping.
Read our Contract (PDF)
If your job demands use of the internet, set up blockers and have a colleague change your password so you’re not tempted to scoff a cheeky Facebook jam doughnut on the sly.
#5 Find Offline Alternatives
Thank heavens for charity shops stuffed to the gills with offline gold. Snaffle board games, travel guides, alarm clocks, roller skates or anything else that’ll make life easier without the World Wide Web.
If you’re a music fiend, dig out your old mix-CD’s or go out to a real life gig. Whatever your daily passions are, find offline alternatives to suit you.
#6 Let your Nearest and Dearest Know
It’s understandable that you may want to go full on enigma during the detox. After all, this is your time to unwind and free yourself from the shackles of the modern world. But do spare a thought for your nearest and dearest who are used to being able to communicate 24/7.
Contact loved ones to let them know you’re logging off and if you do make plans to see them during the interval, be sure to organise any internet-dependent factors in advance.
#7 Plan for an Emergency
#8 Start a Diary
Keeping an account of your activity before, during and after the detox will offer perspective and could be a nice relic to show the grandkids once the robot oligarchs phase out paper altogether.
#9 Log Off
Shear a sheep, trek the Inca trail, beat your gran at chess, make a Baked Alaska, ride a tandem bike, explore a new city without a map. Find your beach.
Join us as we say “sayonara” to Facebook, “adios” to devices and “ta-ra” to the internet for 12 days of December.