Book – Digital Detox
Author – Damon Zahariades
Genre – Self-Help
Published in – 2018
You’ve probably seen people sitting together at restaurants, looking at their phones instead of interacting with each other. Maybe you’re one of them.
You’ve probably interacted with people and found them checking their phones while listening to you. Maybe you’re one of them.
When did you last spend a day without a mobile or even a few hours without a mobile or any other electronic device?
It’s worth underscoring that technology can improve our lives, boost our productivity, and increase our effectiveness at everything we do. But it’s just a tool. And like any tool, it can wreak havoc if used poorly or thoughtlessly.
About the Book –
Digital detox lays the ground to find out whether one is addicted to technology, explains the side effects of it, and why we get hooked on it. Defines digital detox precisely and suggests ways to eliminate technology addiction.
Digital Detox is the 2nd book of Damon Zahariades after ‘The Art of Saying No,’ and I found it a simple and practical step-by-step guide for a digital detox.
The book covers the various aspects of technology addiction and digital detox, such as,
- Define Technology addiction & Digital Detox.
- Signs of technology addiction, side effects, the reason we get addicted, and negative impacts of it on our life.
- What to expect, How to prepare & execute Digital Detox, stay sober post detox, and the benefits of it.
Let’s dive into excerpts from all Sections –
1) What is Technology Addiction?
- It is our habit of getting overly dependent on technology and indulging in it to the extent of excluding things that matter.
- If you check your phone first thing in the morning, take your phone in the toilet, check notifications while talking to someone, and find yourself most of the time engaged with some or other devices, you are an ideal candidate for a digital detox.
- Researchers have found that tech addicts are more inclined to feed their addiction because the gadgets that make it possible are everywhere. They’re always within reach.
2) What Are The Choices of Drugs –
Damon shares a list of choices of technology addicts like phones, computers, The internet, video games, social media, News media, emails, blogs, forums, and YouTube. Social media is arguably one of the most insidious “drugs” of choice among technology addicts.
3) How to Find Out If You Are Addicted –
Though some signs of addiction vary based on tool-feeding addiction, there are many common signs among all addicts; one prominent is “Restlessness.” Here are a few more; see if you resonate with them.
- You instinctively reach for your phone whenever it rings or buzzes.
- You become anxious if you don’t check your phone after receiving an alert.
- You take your phone into the bathroom.
- You sacrifice sleep to spend more time online.
4) Side Effects of Technology Addiction –
Like any other addiction, technology addiction also has many side effects.
- Inconsistent Sleep Quality – Damon explained well in the book how excessive use of technology deteriorates our sleep quality, affecting our performance.
- Frequent Procrastination – Excessive technology is sure a way of procrastinating the work that matters; since there is too much content available online that seeks our attention, time flies by.
- Impaired Sense of Time – We all have been victims of this one. We go online to search for something, and boom, half an hour later, we catch ourselves reading/watching something irrelevant to our subject.
What is Digital Detox?
- Digital detox is a sabbatical from all electronic devices for an extended period. There are many ways available now, like counseling from a therapist, signing up for rehab for fifteen days, where access to technology is wholly restricted, and self-treatment, where you decide the course of action and act on it.
- Digital detox is the perfect guide for self-treatment and helps readers prepare, anticipate challenges, and implement. It also suggests ways to stay within limits post-detox.
How to Prepare for Digital Detox –
Here are a few suggestions one may consider for preparation –
1. Create a Plan – Ask yourself two questions. First, how long will your digital detox last? Second, when will your schedule best accommodate it? You may consider 24 hours to 48 hours to begin with.
2. Remove All Social Media Apps From Your Phones – This will remove the temptation to check phones. According to one research, we check our phones more than 110 times over and above answering calls.
3. Create a List of Activities You’ll Engage During Digital Detox – As we let go of our phone, we will find ample time in our hands, and unless we find ways to engage ourselves offline, we have higher chances of breaking the detox.
4. Keep People in Your Personal and Professional Life Informed – Our response time has set certain expectations, and it is important to inform everyone about detox so that they can expect and accept the delay in response.
5. Make Sure You Have All Your Resources – It is essential to accumulate all the resources we will require during detox so that we don’t have to depend on phones and the internet. Like having all your books to read, all the numbers to call addresses to visit.
6. Symptoms You’ll Experience During Your Digital Detox – When you opt for your first digital detox, you will experience various symptoms: Irritability and moodiness, Headaches, Drowsiness, and Inability To Concentrate, and these all will loosen your grip as you move along.
Do a Complete Digital Detox –
One may start with 24 to 48 hours of sabbatical, preferably on weekends, where fewer outside engagements are expected. It is easy to manage without technology compared to workdays.
Damon has described ten steps to Digital Detox. Here are a few of them. You may check out all of them in the book.
- Step 1 – Bury Your Phone – It’s not enough to put your phone in silent, airplane mode, or switch it off. It would be best if you completely hid it from your sight to avoid any temptation. As they say, “out of sight, out of mind.”
- Step 4 – Unplug Your Computer – It is essential to unplug the computer entirely, as it is straightforward to get lured into working on something, and before we know it, we find ourselves online checking social media.
- Step 7 – Plan activity and reading book – Use your digital detox time to plan gatherings with friends & family, read a book, or learn a new skill. Engaging ourselves in these activities can significantly help complete digital detox.
How to Refrain From Relapse After Detox –
It requires regular awareness to refrain from getting sucked into addiction after detox. Damon offers ten suggestions for maintaining healthy usage of technology.
- Maintain phone-free conversation – Keep your phone away while talking to someone in person. This will enhance the quality of the discussion.
- Declutter your Phone – Remove unnecessary apps from the phone that you rarely use.
- Log Off From All Social Media – Keep all social media logged off, put off all notifications, and check them only once or twice a day. This will produce a lot of time for things that matter.
A digital detox will change how you look at technology and help you get off the hook and reclaim your life, enjoy life’s simpler pleasures, and attain worthy goals.
If you like this book, you will also like Declutter Your Mind.
About the Author –
Damon Zahariades is a corporate refugee who endured unnecessary meetings, drive-by chats with coworkers, and a distraction-laden work environment before striking out alone.
You may follow the author Damon Zahariades and his work on his productivity blog ArtofProductivity.com.
Please share your thoughts in the comment below. I would love to hear from you.
I wish you a cluttered, free life.