How to stay connected post-social media

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Photo by Allie Smith on Unsplash

It has been approximately two years and three months since I deleted my last standing social media account, Twitter, and embarked on living without social media.

While I am by no means an expert on how to maintain an exuberant social life, I have managed a modest social life post-social media despite not being so good at maintaining constant communication with people.

Continue reading “How to stay connected post-social media”

It’s time for a digital detox

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Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash

These past few weeks, I gave myself permission to cave into my digital addiction while going through many unpleasant life changes.

Practicing digital wellness requires mindfulness, discipline, and dedication, which I felt I didn’t have the energy for. So, I held on tightly to my phone and binged on the internet day after day to escape the discomfort of dealing with my reality.

The internet provided an easy and fast escape from my emotions.

I unblocked Safari. I binged on articles, blogs, forums, and YouTube videos for hours. I stayed up all night on my phone until I fell asleep from exhaustion. I relapsed to being an information junkie.  

My phone became an emotional crutch, dutifully providing comfort and escape, one article (and another inspiring blog post!) at a time.

I wouldn’t have been inspired to write this post if it didn’t dawn on me yesterday that I’m experiencing physical effects from my excessive digital use. 

My eyes feel strained. I feel lethargic. I have constant minor headaches. I feel aimless if I’m not glued to a screen. I can’t fall asleep without my phone. Few of the many reasons I have been practising digital wellness for the past few years. 

I knew it was time for a digital detox.

Continue reading “It’s time for a digital detox”

In praise of taking digital breaks

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Photo by Markus Spiske temporausch.com on Pexels.com

A digital break can be extremely helpful for people who feel like they are always on their digital devices being constantly bombarded with notifications, or feel that they are hopelessly addicted to their black screens.

If you are part of the 1%, you can take yourself on the unpluggedweekend retreat that promises you a break from it all. For the rest of us peasants, taking digital breaks should still be an essential part of our personal policies.

Time is a precious, nonrenewable resource. Being aware of our digital consumption is not just an aspirational lifestyle choice for the riches.


Why digital break?

In a previous post, radical digital detox ideas, I mentioned that taking a break from the digital world is something I’m working hard to implement into my daily routine to avoid wasting time online.

Whenever I feel negative emotions creeping up, I find myself looking for escape by seeking distractions. Usually, these distractions come from browsing the Internet.

My favourite escape is reading comments on online forums, mostly reddit, and getting lost in other people’s stories, opinions, and ideas. It might have something to do with the fact that I find how humans interact with the social world extremely fascinating (hello, Sociology major).

However, escaping from uncomfortable feelings and emotions via the digital world almost never solves the issue, but simply prolong the feelings.

This is especially true when we are also avoiding taking care of our responsibilities. After hours spent escaping into the digital world, the real world still awaits us. The dishes remain undone, the dog unfed, the deadlines approaching, and the house disorganized.

Whatever we escape into is also almost always pointless crap, because moments later we have no recollection of whatever it is that we just watched or read to distract ourselves.

It is simply escapism


From personal experiences, getting away from digital distractions forces us to avoid escapism and confront whatever feeling we might be feeling, wether it is boredom, sadness, or anxiety.

The best escape is to get busy with the activities and responsibilities we value, and be in the moment. 

Spending time online must be an elective experience rather than a default setting.

While there are many ways to incorporate digital breaks into our routine, and is unique to each individual, here are some ideas I have found to be useful for taking a break from the digital world.

Daily Digital Breaks

Right after waking up, do not use phone, laptop and other digital electronics for at least an hour, or until after leaving the house. After work, put all digital stuff away and out of reach for a couple of hours. This practise is truly a bliss, especially, if your work requires staring at a computer screen every day.

Weekly Digital Breaks

Once a week, unplug from screens and go offline for a whole evening. Indulge in offline activities that make your life better, such as reading, getting creative, cooking and cleaning. 

Monthly Digital Breaks

Once a month, take a day off from your smartphone, laptop, tablets, tv, etc. and do things completely offline. Another challenge is to put phone away for a whole weekend and do productive and fun activities in the offline world.

The point of taking a digital break, in my opinion at least, is to consciously set time aside to minimize the noise and allow time for silence, contemplation, and boredom.

In order to incorporate these ideas, make it your personal policy to take a digital break daily, weekly, or monthly.

READ: Smartphones Are Making Us Dumber. Here’s How To Fight Back.