Liv’ED It is an ED original style where we write about our personal experiences on experiencing and reviewing any app/place/website which gives us a feeling of coming back for more.

Ever since the advent of 2020, my screen time (like almost all of us), has shot up tremendously. Since anything and everything under the sun is happening online these days, my screen time has been as high as 16 hours during the past couple of months.

Such high screen time has been causing a lot of physical and mental discomfort to me for a long time now. Waking up cranky every morning despite sufficient sleep has become an everyday occurrence and this has started haunting me.

The idea of a digital break has been at the back of my mind for ages now. One fine day, luckily, I had a lot of time on my hand, so, I started researching the same.

During my research, I realized that it is pivotal that I keep a track of my activity on various devices that I use in a day. While I was mindful of the time I was spending on my laptop, I was clueless about the number of hours I spent each day sneakily on my phone.

I decided to start with a screen time tracking app and picked one out randomly from the Google Play Store (based on ratings, of course). I downloaded StayFree – Screen Time Tracker on my phone and let it do its job for a couple of days.

This app has helped me figure out my guilty pleasures (the apps I use the most) and the part of the day when I am most inclined towards using my phone.

Despite conscious efforts to cut down my screen time, I failed miserably at my plan. Whenever I would put my phone away even for a short duration, I had this constant fear of missing out. I could not hold myself back from those notifications and random calls.

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Digital Detox

This Saturday, I decided to take an eight-hour-long break from my phone and laptop. I could not afford to disconnect myself from the Internet for any longer than this, owing to my work commitments.

To avoid missing out on important stuff, I decided to inform my friends and acquaintances well in advance.

Following this, I decided to shut down my laptop and phone in order to avoid any distractions.

Within a couple of minutes of shutting down all devices, my mind went absolutely blank because the whole experience of not being able to use the Internet was strange to me. I had no clue what to do next because my brain is conditioned to working on a laptop, all day long.

After contemplating for some time, I decided to pen down my thoughts in my old diaries.

Surprisingly, in a matter of a few minutes, I got comfortable with my writing exercise and I had stopped cribbing about not being able to use my phone or laptop.

To kill some more time, I started flipping through the old pages that I had written and realized how much I enjoyed writing back then. Technology has reduced the spirit of writing on a physical paper, at least for me.

Other than writing, I decided to spend some time on my balcony, doing absolutely nothing. I wanted to escape from the tight schedules for a long time now and there could be no better occasion than this one.

I went for a stroll in the near vicinity and realized that the feeling of walking without a phone in your hands is quite a strange one. 

As time passed, I started to get more uncomfortable without my phone because I came to see how it is an integral part of everything that I do in my day. I somehow managed to control myself from getting distracted during my digital break time frame.

The “After” Experience

When the clock struck 9 PM, I could not control myself, I jumped straight in my bed with my phone. While I was getting a lot of notifications, I did realize that most of them were not critical.

It was merely out of habit that I kept on checking notifications and my FOMO also reduced drastically after this whole experience of digital detox.

While I would not say that I have stopped using the phone completely, I have definitely started using it more consciously now. I keep a tab on the hours I spend on different apps and how I could reduce those.

All in all, this was a pleasant (or maybe not-so-pleasant) experience, but the key takeaway for me is greater consciousness regarding my utilization of the Internet.

Have you ever tried a digital detox? Let us know in the comments below!

Sources: Blogger’s own experience

Find the blogger: @_RitikaNijhawan

This post is tagged under: digital detox, break from social media, screen time, screen time tracker, not using internet challenge, living without phone, social media, laptop, mobile phone, electronic gadgets, I tried digital detox, I took a break from social media

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