Last month, I voluntarily chose to endure a self-imposed digital detox.
For those of you wondering what I am saying, digital detox refers to de-addiction to smartphones and internet. The magnitude of such addiction can vary from person to person and hence, very subjective.
When I realized that I expected a WhatsApp ping every now and then… When I aimlessly skimmed through the display pictures and status of friends in WhatsApp… When I frequently opened the Facebook app and went through the status and comments of friends… I knew something was not right.
I went through a self-diagnosis and concluded that I am still in the early stages of manic addiction. So, I decided to detach/detox.
And this is what I did over a period of three months:
Þ I deliberately left my mobile in silent mode most of the times.
Þ I banned myself from carrying my phone when I took small breaks at office.
Þ I assigned a fixed time to go through the messages and reply, mostly at the end of the day only.
Þ I altered the WhatsApp privacy setting and ensured that neither I nor my others could see each other’s last seen.
Finally, last month:
Þ I deleted the WhatsApp, Facebook and Facebook messenger apps from my smartphone.
Þ I declared to my family and friends regarding my decision to go through digital detox.
I am feeling relieved than ever. People who still love me continue to find time for me and reach me out. In short, I don’t miss those apps.
If face to face interactions require 50% - 100% of your attention, talking on phone requires 20%-50%. And, texting requires 0%-20%. Yes, you heard me right. o% attention! How much more attention/time do you need to type “k”, “Hmm”, “S”, “na”, “?” or the famous smilies?
Another problem is, it is easier to lie, express and be mean through texts than through vocal communication; it is tougher in person.
These technologies are messing up our lives. Rescue yourself.
The best gift for your loved ones is “you” and “your time”. Try to meet them as often as possible or at least spend some time by talking over phone or video chatting. And, experience the magic yourself. I did!