Monday, 15 February 2016

Time To Log Off's 7 day digital detox challenge: how I got on

I did it!

Did what? you ask. Well, before reading any further, internet voyager, may I direct you to this here post, in which I explain what the challenge was all about.

Actually, this handy little infographic is a pretty good summary too. You're probs short on time. We're all busy. I get that.
I decided to note down how I was getting at the end of each day. And when I say 'note down' I of course mean type into my laptop. Well, except for the final day!

Day 1

Ummm... How honest should I be with you guys?

OK, I'll be totally honest.

I failed at the very first step of the challenge. Oops.

I thought I'd set the alarm clock but it turns out I hadn't done it right and the alarm never went off. Fearing something like this may happen (I know myself) and terrified by the prospect of sleeping in and being late for my second week of work, I'd set my phone alarm as a back-up which did then go off and wake me up. Yeah, completely not the point of the challenge. My bad.

But I know where I went wrong with the alarm clock now and so I shall try again tonight!

Day 2

Oh my days, the alarm clock is loud! I think I may have woken up the whole house (apols, guys). I must say I miss my FitBit alarm, which is what I usually use - I put my FitBit in a band that goes round my wrist, set the alarm time on the app on my phone, then it wakes me up with gentle vibrations in a most civilised manner.

Putting my devices outside my room was OK - I have to admit, there are occasions when I'm tossing and turning in bed, struggling to get to sleep, so I get up and write something on my laptop, look something up (breakfast options at Leon more often than not) or ping out an email. But when your laptop is outside the room, you don't.

That said, despite not being woken up by a phone alarm, my phone is still the first thing I check. What're ya gonna do?

Day 3

Today's challenge: eat all your meals in a different room from all digital devices. This was alright actually. If I'm eating with other people, I try really hard not to get my phone out. I did without thinking have breakfast at my desk at work though and was obviously staring at my computer screen. Oops.

Written on day 6: I'll be honest I totally forgot about this at various points later in the week. I'ma bit rubbish at this, aren't I?

Day 4

Remove email from my phone!? Wahhhh! I did it. But it's kind of annoying. And it just meant I'm looking at emails on my iPad and laptop more. But I guess maybe it is good to at least not be checking them whilst I'm out and about.

Day 5

Challenge: leave your phone at home when you go out for the evening. OK so I did go out for the evening, but the problem with this was that I went straight from work and so did have my phone on me already. I also forgot that I'd need to look up how to get home from the party in advance so, whaddaya know, I totally failed. I'm too reliant on CityMapper and Google Maps!

I did try not to get my phone out though. But personally I'd be too scared to go out totally without my phone - what if I had an emergency or got into some trouble? It's not really practical, in my opinion. Maybe just for a walk, sure, especially if you're with someone else. That I'd do. But going out for a night in London without my phone, and going home alone? No thank you.

Day 6

Ugh. Today I had to remove social media apps from my phone. I'm so sad.

I didn't even think to post an Insta last night telling everyone that I wouldn't be able to post for two whole days! WHAT WILL MY FOLLOWERS THINK!? At least I can still go on Facebook and Twitter from my other devices. And tbh my Facebook app on my phone has been dead for months so I never use that any more anyway. (Yay for iPhone 4s!)

I hate not being able to use Snapchat though. I went to a really snazzy afternoon tea today and it was just crying out to be Insta'd and added to my Snapchat story (I'm one of those people, #sorrynotsorry). At least I can #latergram it, but how will my Snapchat friends know how awesome and glamorous my life is!?

I've also been preparing for Galentine's Day tomorrow (aka a celebration of galpals feat. pink fizz, beetroot risotto, ice cream, strawberries, heart-shaped cookies and romcoms) with Nazi-style organisation. Like, even more organised than normal me. I've had to note down ON PAPER the landline number for my Galentine, her address, my various transport options, timings and directions to find her house. I mean, I'm a planner but this is just ridiculous.

Just goes to show how much we rely on our phones!

I am looking forward to colouring and reading tomorrow. They're two things I love doing but actually very rarely do because there always seems to be something more pressing to do on the ole laptop.

Day 7

Today was the biggie: no digital devices at all. Gulp. I'd been kind of dreading it and had been unable to get to sleep the night before.

Valentine's Day or not, I usually spend Sunday mornings reading the news on my iPad and catching up on blogs. Not today, my friends.

Good things, however: no matter how tragic, single and alone I may have felt (I didn't really), I couldn't have resorted to dating apps.

So what did I do all day? I read my book, I read magazines, I did some colouring, I hoovered, I epilated, I did laundry, I watched a smidge of TV (that's allowed, right? It was only two episodes of Friends!). And yes, if you hadn't already guessed, I am indeed single.
I was just super glad that I'd planned to go to Rachel's for Galentine's Day fun mid-afternoon or else I think I may actually have gone a bit mad at home sans digital devices.

So here's the thing: it was nice to read my book for an hour or so and just allow myself to get engrossed. I liked colouring and focusing on solely that.

However, I usually like colouring with some chilled toons playing in the background. How do I play music? From Spotify or iTunes, of course. Ergo, I had no music. That was annoying.

And if I'm perfectly honest, although I managed, I just found not having my digital devices somewhat annoying.
I wanted to tweet things, blog, Insta my beetroot risotto (I latergrammed it but still), gush over my friends' cute V Day posts on FB and make a Galentine's Day Snapchat story.

I didn't love feeling out of touch.

Sure, it was just a day, but I set my alarm - my fitbit alarm, sorry! - extra early for the following morning so I'd have time to catch up on all my social meeds from the detox day.

Lying in bed awake past midnight, I was mad tempted to get up and go on my phone/laptop/ipad because it was technically the next day. But I didn't. I waited till morning.

So shall we conclude this baby up with some final thoughts?

Although I didn't love every aspect of the challenge, I'm really glad I did it and am grateful to Time To Log Off for inviting me to take part. Stuff has been learned.

I was obviously never going to love being without my digital devices, despite the fact that I've seen some of the other bloggers partaking in the challenge tweeting about how happy and free they feel. But I have learned how nice it is to focus on just one thing like reading or colouring.

It's also hit home just how much I rely on the internet. I do think useful apps like City Mapper are there to make life easier, but I know I need to try and cut down my screen time (she says, blogging at nearly midnight on a Monday).

I think perhaps the answer is to make little positive changes, and that is exactly what I shall endeavour to achieve.

What are your thoughts on this? Are you addicted to your digital devices? Tempted to try a detox?


  1. Completely agree with you about the phone and going out at night thing! If it comes to a matter of safety, you really do need to have your phone with you! I'm terrible at social media so I think I'd find that ok but I'd freak out about emails as my lectures and supervisor meetings can be organised within half an hour of the event! xxx
    Lucy @ La Lingua | Travel, Food, Italy

    1. Totally. Well that's it! You have to be practical about these things. Thanks Lucy! x

  2. I would not feel comfortable at all going out without my phone! I hate how much we depend on technology now, but it's not entirely a bad thing.
    Your post reminded me of this video I saw the other day, it's definitely worth a watch!
    I don't think it's necessary to delete email apps and leave the house without your phone, I just think we need to learn when to put them down and switch off for a bit!
    Love the post though :)

    Hannah xx

    1. You're totally right. Ooh that looks interesting, I'll give it a watch. Thanks Hannah! x


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