A report from Nielsen shocked everyone in 2018, stating that the average adult American spends nearly 11 hours a day in front of a screen.
Not surprisingly, a substantial chunk of this went into consuming social media. Users spend about three hours on Facebook and Instagram, and the rest of this time is taken up by streaming platforms and messaging apps.
Vacation & Digital Detox
If you are about to take a vacation, it is the perfect opportunity for a digital detox. Try to spend a week by the sea without checking your phone for messages every so often.
Whichever approach you take, a digital detox is painful.
Our brains are addicted to the tiny hits of dopamine we receive every time someone appreciates our latest selfie. The dopamine hit is so strong, that not responding on social media is as hard as giving up smoking.
So, how do you get through a week of deprivation from electronics? We discuss easy tips to make it effortless.
Why Is a Vacation the Best Time for a Detox?
Vacation is ideal for digital detox because, for decades, it has been known as the best way to quit smoking.
Though you don’t inhale smoke during browsing, what happens to your brain is quite similar. In a nutshell, the biology is the same.
All addictions are, at their core, a habit. To break a habit, you need different and sufficient stimulation.
In an unfamiliar place, your brain is already stimulated. It is easier to make it forget an old attitude and settle into a new pattern.
Any new habit takes between three and seven days to form. It is basically rewiring your brain to take pleasure from something different.
Should I Leave My Smartphone Behind?
At the outset, a digital detox does not mean being without your smart device. In an emergency, your phone is your best friend.
Neither do we suggest that you travel somewhere without an internet connection. Data is a crucial part of our life. From bank transactions to hotel booking, much that is important happens using the internet.
Also, you might need your GPS to find directions. The internet is capable of intoxicating us, but also delivers useful services that can’t be ignored.
What we shall suggest is you uninstall social media apps such as Facebook, Instagram, and Reddit from your phone the night before your vacation starts.
How to Go Through Digital Detox without Going Crazy
1. Lose the dependency
It is impossible to give up an addiction if you are forever longing for it. For any de-addiction to be successful, you must have the drive to change.
The digital world is a huge black hole that vanishes time. You start the day by watching a newscast on YouTube, and then proceed to click on everything that pops up in suggested videos.
Before you know it, an hour has gone by, and you have missed your gym session.
Digital addiction is quite recent. YouTube and Facebook have been around since 2005, and Instagram and Snapchat are only a decade old.
It is perfectly possible to lead a healthy and happy life without squinting at a tiny screen all day long.
2. Keep busy
If you have excessive free time during your vacation, you are likely to feel your thumbs tingle for the familiar sensation of swiping a screen.
To combat that, go sightseeing, enjoy new dishes, and strike up new friendships. The more you keep your mind engaged, the better.
You will rediscover the simple pleasures of life in a day or two. The happiness that comes from throwing darts at a corkboard, the sheer joy of watching the sunset on the distant horizon, and the fresh, salty smell of the surf.
Most of us have forgotten how to be in touch with our inner selves.
Your life is much more than scrolling through social media or answering emails.
3. Don’t be afraid of missing out
The world is not going to fall apart if you don’t check social media for a week. If there were something significant, like the illness or death of a loved one, someone would call you.
This fear of missing out is the exact thing that you are trying to detox from. The internet is quite new. Before the turn of the century, few had the internet at home, and they lived perfectly happy lives.
Be rid of the dread that something important is happening and you are not there to watch it unfold.
Even if you do miss something, you will be able to watch news clips when you get back home.
4. Catch up with emails (if you have to)
It is not possible for everyone to be completely off of the grid. With work and emails, we are permanently chained to our desks.
Your boss might not want you to reply to any of them while you are on vacation, but keeping up to date can spare you anxiety.
This part of your digital life has more to do with your over-dedication to work and insecurity than anything else. Corporate jobs are tough, and manpower is slashed for the flimsiest of excuses.
No one will blame you if you spend exactly a quarter of an hour daily to keep in touch with your workplace.
Just ensure that you don’t get caught up in it and spend three hours sending and receiving emails.
5. Take care of yourself
Get the tattoo you have always wanted. Treat yourself to an extra glass of wine. Spend a day at the hotel spa. Unwind in the Jacuzzi.
It is important to love yourself. Taking care of your mind and body is the reason you are going on a digital detox.
If a gentle massage helps, why not indulge in it?
When you are quitting the digital world, you might feel extreme amounts of anxiety. To get past this stage, there is a need to take care of yourself.
Getting pampered is wonderful for the mind. It gives you a reason to live positively.
How Tough Is It?
There is no use sugarcoating it; kicking digital addiction is tough.
It’s because brilliant engineers at social and digital media companies have spent years perfecting algorithms to trick you. From endless cat videos to news addiction, you have been enslaved without mercy.
To break out of this prison and seek your own agency requires determination.
Reinforcing Your Decision
As previously stated, a big part of what makes a digital detox tough is anxiety. You’re anxious because you’re afraid you might miss an important event, or big news from your friends. One effective way to help ease your anxiety on a digital detox vacation is by purchasing travel insurance before your trip.
If you encounter a situation where your luggage or flight is delayed, your bags are lost by the airline, or you come down with an illness or get injured, your travel insurance can help. It can provide financial coverage to help offset the expense of these unfortunate events. With insurance in place, you can set your phone down, live in the moment, and have fewer worries about the unexpected.
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