I love radical ideas.
Anything radical, really.
For me, the word radical describes a person or action or thing that is especially impressive, inspiring, extraordinary, revolutionary, visionary, exciting, remarkable, exceptional, amazing, marvelous, sensational, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, spectacular…
You get the point.
Naturally, some of my approach to practicing digital detox have been extreme, like quitting social media altogether, or trying to flush my phone down the toilet back in 2012* (spoiler alert: iPhone 4s doesn’t flush).
However, I still struggle with spending WAY TOO MUCH time mindlessly browsing the Internet, obsessively checking my phone for messages, and compromising my productivity because of digital distractions.
Below are 4 tips for a radical digital detox!
1. Delete your data subscription
I first downgraded my phone plan to a basic text/call only plan back in 2015. At the time, I was newly introduced to frugal living, and everything seemed to be a waste of money. The online frugal living community was in agreement that paying for data was a waste of money.
I spent most of my days on campus or at home, which meant I had access to wifi most of the time anyways. I was also your typical broke college student.
I did not have data for over two years. Not only did I miraculously survived, but it made me realize that 24/7 internet access on my mobile device wasn’t a necessity for modern living. Some of my best days were where I spent the whole day outdoor without wifi access.
Of course, #nodata living requires some pre-planning. For example, for directions to places, I used to screenshot the routes on Google Maps and save it in my Photos library. I also had to download music, podcasts, and other materials for offline access. This was also nice in so far it limited me to whatever was downloaded on my phone, and minimized dealing with the paradox of choice.
I recently decided to go back to the #nodata life to support some of my personal goals for 2019. So far, I have been reading a lot more of Can’t Hurt Me: Master Your Mind and Defy the Odds (must read!), which is downloaded on my phone so I can access it offline, and have saved a total of $28.25 on my phone bill.
2. D̶e̶l̶e̶t̶e̶ ̶a̶l̶l̶ Rethink your social media accounts
All those 30-dAyS-wItHoUt-sOcIaL-mEdiA challenges are for the feeble-minded!
Say ‘no more!’ to big data and opt tf out! You are an impressive, inspiring, extraordinary, revolutionary, visionary, exciting, remarkable, exceptional, amazing, marvelous, sensational, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, spectacular individual that does not need social media to validate your existence!
You get it…
Also, before I deleted all my accounts, I had a personal rule that I could only have a maximum of two social media accounts at a time. Can you create a personal rule(s) to manage your relationship with social media?
What are some ways to reimagine the way you use social media?
3. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, infinitely
My phone has been on the Do Not Disturb setting for years now. Except for phone calls, my phone does not vibrate or ring for notifications.
You ever hear/feel your phone vibrate or ring, but when you check there is no notification? It blew my mind when, after a few months of putting my phone on Do Not Disturb, that feeling completely went away.
That alone is honestly so amazing. I enjoy not being constantly startled by the buzzing, and beeping sounds of my phone. If it is something urgent, they will call.
I can always turn off Do Not Disturb if, for some reason, I need notifications for texts. For now, I love knowing that I don’t own my phone constant attention.
4. Schedule digital breaks
I don’t really do this, but I would LOVE to make it part of my digital detox plan.
The idea is very simple: schedule a time frame in your day, week or month to take a break from all digital stimulation. During these breaks, you unplug everything, then you go out into the wide wild world to find something to do… *gasp!*… offline.
This doesn’t mean you stare at a wall until the time is up. This would be a great time to spend time with… actual… humans, finish reading that book you have been meaning to finish (physical copy, of course!), and take a three-hour long bath just with your thoughts.
What are some other ideas for things to do during scheduled digital breaks?
If you are feeling for some next-level radical-on-crack ideas for digital detox, read 15 Ways to Digitally Detox, a hilarious guide to step away from it all.
*To be fair, I only did that cause I couldn’t stop obsessively texting a person I no longer wanted to contact. That says more about me than the phone though. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯