My relationship with social media and what is a digital detox?

Posted on: 02/02/2019

Taking a digital detox is a new trend which has come around due to the rise of digital technology in the last decade.  What does it mean for many of us?  My answer to that question is that I am not sure and I guess it depends on your usage.

We can now our devices for almost everything which includes ordering groceries, connecting with our friends and even parking the car. It is now so integrated into our lives to a point where it is almost unavoidable. Are we addicted or are we just now so reliant to live life more efficiently?

Social media is known to us all which does provide us so many benefits we didn’t have before it existed. I have now met many friends through social media platforms, and it has helped me raise my profile as a fitness professional. However, our constant sharing of our filtered lives through a screen is a concern for many as we really are becoming obsessed.

Personally for me, social media is great in my industry which means I have an even more complex relationship with it. It can be hard to live in the moment sometimes when you’re constantly trying to capture it so you can share with your followers. Sometimes you just want to sit and watch your children play with their toys or enjoy your night out with your wife, rather than having to take a photo or set up the perfect image to post on social.

As someone who has been a business owner and suffered real stress during this time, I really value magical moments and social media can detract from that at times. I have become a more relaxed person in recent years and as a result, I am now trying to step back and reduce my screen time. I was actually mortified when I noted my screen time in December to be averaging three and half hours per day usage. I then researched this, and I was in the average category which is just frightening. I found myself trying to justify the usage to myself by calculating how much of this time was emails and essential time. Conclusion was, a lot of it was unnecessary and not efficient.

I guess undergoing a digital detox is different for everyone. For some it is turning your phone off completely and for others it’s just turning off notifications.

Two weeks ago, I left my phone at home on leaving the house for London and it was like I had forgot to put my pants on. I kept tapping my pockets as if it was going to magically appear. Was it a big deal, not really. Ok, I couldn’t park my car via the app, I wasn’t contactable for most of the day and I couldn’t post up my favourite lunch from Ginger and White in Hampstead, but I survived.  No big deal.

I have decided to set myself a little goal each calendar month.  On one weekend day each month I will have no phone time whatsoever for a full 12 hours (8am -8pm).  So, zero social posting and essentially leave the phone turned off the whole day, with my first day being this Sunday (tomorrow).

I guess for me, this is a mini digital detox which will provide headspace to really reflect on January and focus on the important things in life – my family without any distractions.

I am sure the world doesn’t fall apart if you don’t respond to your emails straight away right. Life goes on and people understand – I think.

For me, I do enjoy social media and the inspiration it provides alongside the opportunities it brings. However, I truly believe our lives are meant to be lived through our eyes, not through screens like so many of us do.

Anyway, wish me luck!