For me, the word radical describes a person, an action or a thing that is especially impressive, inspiring, extraordinary, revolutionary, visionary, exciting, remarkable, exceptional, amazing, marvellous, sensational, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, spectacular…
You get the point.
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Naturally, some of my approach to practicing digital detox have been extreme, like quitting social media altogether, and trying to flush my phone down the toilet* (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 four radical digital detox ideas I have been trying to implement for digital wellness.
1. Delete your data subscription
The first time I downgraded my phone plan to a basic text/call only plan was back in 2015 after being 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.
Since I spent most of my days on campus or at home, which meant access to wifi most of the time, and I was also a typical broke college student, it made sense to cancel my data subscription.
For over two years without data, not only did I miraculously survived, but it made me realize that 24/7 internet access on my mobile device wasn’t a necessity. Some of my best days during those times were when I spent a full day without wifi access.
However, living without data required some pre-planning.
For instance, for GPS, I’d take a screenshot the routes on Google Maps when I have wifi access and save it to my photo library. I’d download music and podcast episodes for offline access.
An unintended outcome of not having online access on the go was that it limited me to whatever was available for offline access on the go, minimizing the paradox of choice.
I recently cancelled my data subscription once again to minimize online distractions.
You are an impressive, inspiring, extraordinary, revolutionary, visionary, exciting, remarkable, exceptional, amazing, marvellous, sensational, incredible, unbelievable, phenomenal, spectacular individual and do not need social media to validate your existence!
Personally, when I had social media accounts, I had a personal rule that I could only have a maximum of two social media accounts at a time.
You can create a personal rule(s) to manage your relationship with social media, instead. What would be some rules that work for your lifestyle or needs?
3. Put your phone on Do Not Disturb, infinitely
My phone has been on Do Not Disturb setting for years now. Except for phone calls, my phone doesn’t vibrate or ring for notifications.
You ever hear/feel your phone vibrate or ring, but when you check it there are no notifications? 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 truly enjoy not being constantly startled by the buzzing and beeping sounds of my phone.
If it is something urgent, people will call, and if I ever need to turn notifications for texts, I can simply turn off Do Not Disturb.
For now, I don’t own my phone constant attention.
4. Schedule digital breaks
This is something I haven’t really done but would love to make part of my digital detox plan.
The idea is very simple. You schedule a time frame in your day, week or month to take a break from all digital stimulation. During these breaks, you unplug everything and 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, read that novel you have been meaning to finish (a physical copy, of course!), and take a three-hour long bath just with your thoughts.
P.s. If you are feeling for some next-level radical-on-crack ideas for digital detox, check out 15 Ways to Digitally Detox, a hilarious guide to step away from it all.
P.s.s *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)_/¯