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A 24-Hour Digital Detox: My Findings

It wasn’t *that* bad…

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I love my phone. It’s practically suctioned to the palm of my hand and goes everywhere with me; from bed to bathroom (I prop it up against the windowsill and watch videos as I shower – addicted much, eh?). Although I do find that I’m pretty good at detaching from it in the evenings as I like to leave it in another room when we’re watching TV or having dinner. I still find myself reliant on it though, whether it’s just for a bit of background noise or to have a little hormonal cry at a cute proposal video that someone shared on Facebook.

In the past I’ve given myself timed tests to see whether I could survive without it and sure enough when the two hour mark ticked round I was gagging to have a scroll again. I could do it, but I didn’t enjoy it. So this past Sunday I set myself a task – to spend 24 hours tech-free and make the most of it – that meant no phone, laptop or TV, only a camera to vlog my experience. Have a scroll down below to watch the end result, but here I thought I’d share the notes I made on the day. Here’s how the 24 hours went…

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MORNING. The night before I turned my phone off and left it tucked away in my drawer, so I woke up at 9am without an alarm (DREAMY!). I looked at the time and then without my phone to scroll through to get the juices flowing I fell back asleep for another hour. I can’t quite tell if that’s a good thing or a bad thing? But at least I woke up feeling refreshed. I weirdly felt nervous though. A little panicky that I wouldn’t be able to get through the day without cheating. Before the experiment I felt like it would be a piece of cake and proudly told all my friends of my grand plans, but when it actually came to the big day, I felt slightly apprehensive about the whole thing. I ended up having breakfast in bed whilst reading a magazine and then busied myself doing chores around the flat.

AFTERNOON. I’d cheated a little bit and had pre-planned to spend the afternoon at my parents. Out of all the things I did on my tech-free day, I’d say that this move was pretty genius. When you’re around other people you forget you’re even on this self-imposed ban. I spent time catching up with my Grandparents, my Aunty, my Uncle and my parents and a couple of hours went in the blink of an eye (and a couple of mouthfuls of homemade cake). When things quietened down round there, I had a bath (BATHS + READING MATERIAL = THE DREAM), my Mum cooked me dinner and afterwards we all played Scrabble and my parents let me win – thanks rents!. By the time I made it home it was about 9pm and I hadn’t even thought about my phone once. What phone? 

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EVENING. This is where the temptation got pretty strong. I felt like I’d made it so far that I’d practically ticked off the 24 hours (almost). Thankfully my willpower kicked in and after a drawn-out skincare routine and half an hour or so of reading my magazine, I was completely conked out. Knackered in fact. Which was strange because I hadn’t had the most exhausting of days, nor was I forcing myself to sleep just because I wanted the following morning to come round. Perhaps the detox wore me out? Gave me a chance to relax in a way that I quite honestly haven’t in years?

THE MORNING AFTER. Whatever the case I slept like a log. Seriously so amazing and I woke up the next day feeling really refreshed. It was a great way to start a Monday (Note to self: do more digital detoxes on a Sunday). I spoke in the video about my apprehension at turning on my phone again, but aside from a couple of emails and WhatsApp’s, there really wasn’t that much to report. So much for the avalanche of notifications I was expecting! What a Bobby big head. I’m taking that as a silver lining that actually, should I choose to do it again – which I plan too – the next day is almost as good as the detox. I felt less reliant on my phone, didn’t have too much to respond to and felt pretty bloomin’ awesome. Digital detoxes FTW.

Photos by Lauren Shipley


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Comments

  • Well done for you doing a digital detox, I’d find that so difficult – but I think its important to do bit of a detox every now and again!

    Lucy | Forever September

  • Jessica

    I spent 3 weeks in India during January this year and I didn’t have any internet for the whole stay. I had my phone with me and an iPad with some Netflix downloaded, but I worked a lot there so I didn’t spend much time with the tech. At first it was weird not scrolling through Instagram, but when I came back home it was really overwhelming to open the apps again. Though, a month later I’m as addicted to social media as before haha. But I want to try doing a digital detox some time as well!

  • I spend hours away from my phone, simply because I dont want it around when I am with my kids, but whenever I have time alone, it makes an appearance in my hand. Maybe a digital dtox is needed after all.

    Linda, Libra, Loca: Beauty, Baby and Backpacking

  • I tend to go a couple of hours away from my phone every other day but I’d love to to a 24hr trial and see if I could manage ahah x

    CLUB AVENUE / http://club-avenue.blogspot.com / instagram

  • I love digitial detoxes, it’s always so refreshing to just take a break!

    Jodie // jodieloue.com

  • I hate cell phones and only use mine to text and call my parents and my sister. I honestly don’t understand how people have become so addicted to their phones. It’s a phone for heaven’s sake! I’m proud of you – and quite impressed – that you made it through a whole 24 hrs without turning your phone on! It’s obviously freed up more time for you to spend with your family, with yourself, with books and magazines and it’s made you sleep sounder. Surely, this all proves that we should ALL put our stupid phones away for good.

  • fatou diaw
  • I loved this idea when it cropped up in my box on YT! Really enjoyed watching and hearing all about it- not sure if I could ever do it tbh!

    moremindfulyou.blogspot.com

  • Loved this vlog, Anna! The only thing that would drive me crazy is the silence thing as well. Luckily I have a record player for music, but if I did not I would go mad without it!! Great idea, I’m going to have to try it maybe for a few days in my lenten routine.

    xoxo Mollie
    http://www.molliebellezza.com

  • Lizzie

    I feel like this is something the whole world should do once a week, can you imagine social media going into total silence for 24 hours?

    http://www.thebutter.co.uk/

  • I’m inspired to do this too!

    http://www.erinazmir.com

  • I admire you for this, I could never do it. Not having my phone on me would be very hard. Maybe if I stayed home all day and did stuff at home.

  • Wow, well done for getting through the whole day.
    I have to say you have definitely inspired me to do a detox day, and I think a sunday is the way to go! x
    Izzy | http://www.pinchofdelight.com

  • I might just have to make Sunday digital detoxes a thing too! Weekends should be spent re-energising and enjoying time with friends/family and I find that technology always takes away from that ♥

    Amy // Snippets of Amy

  • Oh I really need to give this a go, I found your feedback just as useul as the video so thank you Anna!
    Peta x

    http://www.pe-ta.com

  • Loved the video and has definitely made me want to try it this Sunday! xx

  • You’re right having people around and getting out to do things makes not using your tech so much easier!

    – Natalie
    http://www.workovereasy.com

  • Sophie

    Hello from New York! Just watched this while doing my self-care/skin-care routine, it definitely helped me slow things down a bit, so that I could really take the time to myself. Definitely don’t know if I could do a full day of this, but could be an interesting challenge for myself. Thanks for making awesome videos!

    sophiewithablog.com

  • I’m so addicted to my phone… I seem to procrastinate so much time away!
    I almost definitely need to have a bit of a detox I think!

    Beth. x

    Sometimes The Stars

  • Damn I’m so inspired to do this too! Thanks for sharing.

    http://www.thequirkyminimal.com

  • I love this outfit, those boots are amazing! I’d really like to try a 24hr digital detox, I am way too addicted to all of my devices!

    Lynnsay x
    http://www.sartorialscot.com

  • Smart move going to your parents. That’s where I always feel the most relaxed and the least dependent on my phone. I’m going to have to give this a try. xo.

    also-those boots! still my faves 😍
    http://www.meghanderson.com

  • June Konrad

    So interesting reading about your experience. I’m currently on a massive break from social media and it’s made me realise how much I’ve grown to rely on it for entertainment. Would love to do a full digital detox one day though, I feel sorry for my eyes the amount of time I spend looking at screens all day haha. Definitely putting it on my to-do list 🙂 Thank you for the inspo Anna!

    rouge-by-june-konrad.blogspot.co.uk

  • ninaz

    You wear $1380. ankle boots to the beach?

  • I don’t know if I could do it. I think without a doubt I rely on digital devices too much day-to-day. Maybe a social media detox I could do though! It’s crazy how reliant we’ve become to technology these days, but it’s an incredible thing. So proud of you of managing to do it, even if you cheated a little bit haha! x

    http://www.lattesandhighlighter.com

  • I’d love to be able to do a digital detox I spend so much of my weekends attached to my laptop and phone it’s sad really! I think I’d have such withdrawals I reckon though which is awful! But you go girl getting through it and it sounds like you had an amazing day!
    http://www.pagesfrombeth.blogspot.co.uk

  • katieemay1

    I feel like I need to do this so badly! I seem to spend all my time either on my phone or my laptop (especially as I’m writing my dissertation!) so I’m going to try and do this soon
    Katie xo
    http://www.ktmy.co.uk

  • A few months ago, my 3-year-old beloved iphone 5C jumped from my hand to its own death — in what I consider both an act of kindness and a suicide. I didn’t get a new phone for about 3 weeks after that, and my imposed digital detox was, at first, brutal. But similarly to you, I actually realised how liberating it was; I was less anxious, slept better and really, no one needed me THAT badly (why on earth did I think i’d be undulated with missed notifications?!). I love your line “What phone?” because that is exactly how I felt at the end.

    Love this post and love your recounting of that experience. I hope you get to enjoy another equally as energising ‘digital detox’ soon! (me too, although I’m hoping I won’t lose another phone this time..)

    Eire | Wolf & Stag

  • I loved this video, I think we should all do this at least once a week. It’s so easy to be consumed by technology these days! x
    http://fashionsfault.blogspot.co.uk

  • This is such a good idea! Great post and I enjoyed the video too 🙂

    VioletDaffodils
    xx