The idea of a Digital Detox does not appeal to me. Some may say it’s because I am addicted to my smart phone and the idea of unplugging fills me with dread. I prefer to think of it as liking the connections I make online, enjoying the things I learn from the internet and it providing a much needed break in my day. We’ll stick with that, shall we?
On a more serious note, I do think that this online world that we live in now gets demonised to such a huge extent and mostly I’ve found it to be a force for good. A pool of like-minded and interesting people. Behind all those pictures, tweets and blog posts is a person trying to make a connection. I understand that behind some of them are people trying to make a negative and damaging connection, I am not entirely naive, but mostly it’s ordinary people, sharing their ordinary lives.
So, I don’t really buy the need for a digital detox. I know most people who do it extol it’s virtues, but I’m not convinced it’s for me. However, I do think my internet and social media usage needs a bit of a makeover. It needs to go to Digital bootcamp or a Digital Detox lite.
There’s too much mindless scrolling, too much clicking on links that don’t really interest me, too much time spent moving from one social media app to another without any real engagement, like endlessly opening the fridge when you’re hungry, even though you know what’s in there. However, I’m not doing enough of the stuff that I do enjoy and that does add something to my life. Not enough reading and commenting on blogs, not starting conversations on Twitter and Instagram. Not enough reading stuff that challenges and engages me, stuff that I want to share with others.
So, for the next two weeks, I am going to change my habits. I’ve chosen two weeks, because this week is half term and our routine is so changed with everyone at home that it’s not a real test. You probably won’t notice a difference, in fact you might think I am around more, because you may find a comment on your blog or your pictures from me, but my habits will be different.
Here are my Digital Detox lite rules:
– No merry-go-round switching between apps. If I am checking social media, I check each app once and then put it down.
– No mindless scrolling. If I am on the internet, engage with the people there and if I don’t feel like engaging, then I shall come back when I do.
– Open my blog reader first, before I go anywhere else, visit those enclaves of the internet that people have put time into and that I enjoy visiting the most and because it makes my day when people comment, leave a comment.
– Set a time limit when browsing. No more standing in the kitchen for half an hour with my coat still on scrolling ( Don’t pretend you haven’t done it!)
– NO clicking on links of things that only mildly interest me. It’s called click bait for a reason. Do NOT fall for it.
– On a non social media topic, but equally as important. Unsubscribe from marketing emails and delete emails as soon as they come in, if they do not interest me.
– No screens after 9pm, apart from if I am taking part in the Blogtacular Twitter chat, which is my favourite hour on Twitter each week.
I am really interested to see if these changes make a difference to my digital experience. I could be proved wrong and perhaps I do need a complete digital detox, but I’m hoping I don’t *clutches all Apple products closely to chest*. How about you? So your digital habits need a bootcamp?