Digital detox: let go of your smartphone

If you sleep with your smartphone by your bedside and you check your emails or Instagram as soon as you wake up, you might need a digital detox. But who can really do without these devices today? According to the last studies, constant use of social networks, emails and news feeds can damage our health. However, the boundary between professional and private life is more and more blurry. If you think that you are becoming addicted to your smartphone, check our tips below to start a digital detox.

1. Buy an alarm clock

The process of detoxification can begin with a symbolic gesture, which is to remove your smartphone from your bedroom and to replace it with an old school alarm clock. If you don’t have any alarm clock, put your mobile phone in airplane mode when you go to bed to avoid being tempted to read work messages you will receive during the night. You can also mute your conversations on social networks not to be disturbed.

2. Use the settings of your smartphone

You can disable push notifications first. Owners of iPhone can operate in their settings, the option “Do not disturb” (with a moon symbol) that allows the device to be in mute, for a time slot fixed in advance.

3. Manage your emails

Before leaving your office, ensure you checked your emails one last time. Try to disconnect while you are at home and avoid checking your emails. If you have urgent emails to deal with, check your emails only once in the evening.

4. Do it together

You can implement this digital detox with your family or your friends. Tablets, mobile phones and television could easily be removed from the living room during meals for instance. You can agree altogether to let your mobile phone in your room and to take it back after your meal.

5. Let your smartphone in your room

If you are at home, let your smartphone in your bedroom. Try to see how many times you need to check your smartphone. If you manage to reduce the number of times you need to check your smartphone, you can also try to unplug even more during the weekend.

6. Reduce the number of apps

To avoid being caught by your phone and networks, you can reduce the number of applications as little as possible on your smartphone. You can also put your apps in a folder that is located on the second screen of your phone to avoid checking them all the time.

7. Notice the world around you

Most people feel a bit awkward when they are waiting and they usually check their devices. Rather than checking your phone, you can try and look around you. It is probably a good occasion to switch off and not to be constantly connected to the virtual world. They are so many things to observe which are just in front of you.

8. Get busy with other activities

It is often when we get bored that we tend to reach for our smartphones. While commuting, waiting or resting, most of us need to check them. It might not seem like an issue for you, however, while checking our phone we are missing out on all the other opportunities such as reading, talking, interacting, exercising, playing or just thinking. On downtime, try to think of another activity than using your smartphone.

While digital addiction hurts productivity, well-being and the social interactions, it is unfortunately difficult to evaluate this addiction and to disconnect most of the time. However, you can implement a reasonable and balanced connection. You can also read the study « Exhausted but unable to disconnect ( which reveals the impact of hyper connection on the emotional state of employees and the work/personal life balance, essential to everybody. The studies reveal that employees can become emotionally exhausted by the constant need to check their emails outside work hours, a good reason to let it go from time to time.