In August of this year I completed a 30 day digital detox. No social media for a whole month! It was a challenging time, and in this post I share details of my 30 day. digital detox. I share the lessons I learnt and things I was able to achieve. If you’ve never done one before, I hope today’s blog post encourages you to to give it a go!
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30 Day Digital Detox Challenge
They say it takes 30 days to form a new habit. I wanted to test this hypothesis for myself and embarked on a 30 day digital-detox in the month of August. No social media including Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, What’s app and Pinterest for 30 days straight.
This isn’t my first time doing a digital detox. I took a break from social media in December 2019. It was during that hiatus I was inspired to start this blog which you’re reading today.
I wrote a couple of blog posts after completing my detox. In the first post I outlined details of My 21 Day Break Up With Social Media, and in the second post I explained how My 21 Day Social Media Detox Changed My Life!
What is a digital detox?
A digital detox is a period of time in which a person refrains from using digital devices and platforms. These can include anything from tv and laptops, to computers and smartphones. In a nutshell it’s a break from digital technology.
You can set your own parameters for your own digital detox. For mine I decided to step away from all forms of social media during that time, and instead use that period to invest in my personal growth.
During my digital detox, I read an amazing book called Digital Minimalism by Cal Newport which gives you tips on how you can reduce your reliance on digital platforms and control your usage without being a passive user of your digital device.
Why did you do a digital detox?
These are a few of the reasons why I decided to do a digital detox, let me know if there are any you can relate to?
Burnout is real – avoid at all costs
I had reached the point of plateau and become stagnant with my blog, Youtube channel and Instagram page. I was doing things in repeat motion because that’s what I had always done. I’d been working tirelessly on my content, but in my eyes I wasn’t seeing the fruits of my labour.
I kept doing the same thing repeatedly, week in, week out, but nothing was working. That’s actually insanity, right? Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.
YouTube was not going to drive me crazy so I decided it was time to step away and give myself some thinking and breathing space. Take time to analyse what I was doing, what was working vs. not working? Get clarity on my content and purpose. Determine once and for all, who my content was for, and how it was helpful to them?
Family over everything is a must
It was important for me to make sure that I spent quality time with my three sons over the summer holidays. They are growing so fast and I want to make the most of the time I have with them during their formative years. You can be there, without really being there if you catch my drift?
Working a 9-5 plus being a content creator is very time-consuming, I didn’t want to be too busy for them and start snapping at them due to all my self-imposed deadlines.
Break the addiction
I was a social media addict. I spent way too much time online consuming other people’s content, and not enough time working on my own.
Yes, I need social media for my side hustle, but in all honesty 3 out of the 4 hours spent on instagram daily was me mindlessly scrolling on the app!
Comparison is the theft of joy
Being a content creator is hard. Comparison is a real thing. Whether you like to admit it or not, we are influenced by others. There are many incredible finance content creators in the UK doing amazing things, so it’s easy at times to measure my success against theirs. I was constantly questioning whether my content was good enough.
This wasn’t healthy. I needed to stop comparing myself to other people and recognise the value I bring to my online community.
YouTube channel test
I’ve been posting consistently on my YouTube channel for 20 months (I know the same can’t be said for my blog *covers face in shame*), and I wanted to see what would happen if I stopped posting for 30 days. Would my channel die? Would YouTube stop promoting my videos? Will my audience stop watching my videos?
I know the saying goes, curiosity killed the cat, but I really wanted to know how this would impact my channel. They say you need to post consistently for your channel to grow – I wanted to put this to the test.
Side note: The results were fascinating! I’ll be sharing it soon in a YouTube video. When I do, I’ll add the link to this blog post for you to have a nosy.
What did you find most challenging about the digital detox?
FOMO is real
When you’re used to being in the know, it’s hard to adapt to being out of the loop. Missing out on the daily consumption of peoples’ instagram posts wasn’t the challenge. Missing out on the What’s app chat’s was hard.
Out of sight, out of mind. As i wan’t online I missed out on the general chit-vhat that you have with people that makes you feel hat you’re connected. I was very much a hermit and given that it was summer holidays it was very noticeable.
Lack of time-fillers
Until you do a digital detox, you don’t realise how much you rely on your digital device to fill idle time. The same is true for awkward times or moments. YOu’re in a group setting and don’t want to talk, so you find a distraction on your phone.
I didn’t have the luxury of escaping into my phone so I had to face these moments head on. It was good during the idle time as I was able to think.
Checking in, and checking out
Back in 2019 when I did the first social media detox, I didn’t have an online presence or platforms I was managing. This time around, I had a blog, YouTube channel and Instagram page that I couldn’t completely abandon. I had to check-in intermittently to respond to comments, DM’s and questions. This was very difficult as I had to resist the urge each time to check what was happening on these platforms.
Would you recommend a digital detox?
Absolutely. I think a digital detox is something that we should all do. It’s a healthy practise and doing them regularly will help break the smartphone addiction that many of us suffer with.
If you’re considering a digital detox, but don’t know where to get started, I would definitely recommend the bookDigital Minimalism by Cal Newport, as it offers practical steps you can take to overcome your addiction to your digital device.
I’m planning to implement this into my lifestyle regularly and Sunday will be my detox day (bar work commitments).
What did you achieve during your digital detox?
Above and beyond the peace of mind my detox gave me, I was able to achieve a lot.
Family time was the best time
My mission to spend intentional quality time with the family was accomplished. We went on a family vacation to a caravan site, and for the first time ever, I was able to spend intentional time with the children, without the distraction of my phone, or the pressure to document what we were doing. We played board games for the first time ever – it was absolutely amazing.
New website update
For over a year I’ve been planning to modify my website and add new pages and forms. Well I finally made good headway with it, updated the copy and recruited a designer to help me with the website transfer. The website will be launching next week and I can’t wait for you to see it!
Reclaim my time
As mentioned previously, the digital detox gave me my time back and I was able to put the reclaimed time to good use. I was able to take time to plan the direction I want to take my channel in and the steps I would take to get there. It was very insightful and I’m glad I did it
What did you learn from your digital detox?
Importance of taking regular breaks
Taking the break reminded me of how good it was the first time round. It’s so important to take regular social media breaks to declutter our minds. We should not be consuming media 24/7 – it’s not healthy.
Nothing changes, if nothing changes
Doing a digital detox is one thing, but what will you do with your new found free time? There’s no point replacing one bad habit with another, when planning a digital detox, decide how you will spend your new found free time.
Stay in your lane
I realised that I am doing a good job, I just need to trust the process. Financial freedom is a journey not just a destination,and it’s important to find joy in the journey. It’s important to appreciate every season, as there are no ‘L’s, only lessons and growth opportunities.
This is a summary of my digital detox where I shared what I did, why I did it, and what it taught me. Would you consider doing a digital detox? Comment below.
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