What is a Digital detox?
As the name suggests, the digital detox represents a detoxification process from the technological items in our life that create a dependency. This includes your Smartphone, your personal computer, television and perhaps even radio.
How long do I have to do it for?
The period I needed to spend doing the digital detox was about two and a half months. But depending on your particular case, it may take more or less for you to achieve positive results.
You will know you’ve reached a goal when you open a Youtube video that piqued your curiosity and then you feel like you can’t stand watching the full length of it. You may or may not get annoyed at it and feel an uncomfortable pressure in your chest if you force yourself to watch the full length.
Why should I do it?
There are a multitude of benefits you can gain from it but here are some: finding your calling, reconnecting with your emotions, balancing your dopamine levels to a healthy standard, getting work or projects done faster and with better results, reconnecting with nature, endulge in your passions, improve your relationships, enhanced focus, healthier habits, fulfilment and enjoyment of life, etc.
Dopamine … ?
Dopamine is known as the feel-good neurotransmitter. The brain releases it when we eat food that we crave or when we get random or unexpected rewards, contributing to feelings of pleasure and satisfaction as part of the reward system.
In essence, it makes us desire things.
Our dependence on technology is in part caused by an unnaturally high amount of dopamine intake, which makes our body build tolerance and just like with alcohol addictions, you need more and more to feel satisfied while the low dopamine types of activities no longer interest you.
What am I supposed to do during this time?!
The most important and useful thing you can do is Emotional Vipassana.
But you can also develop a new hobby, indulge in your passion, paint, write, sing, dance, cook, meditate, spend quality time with your partner etc. Reading books can be addictive tosome so be wary of that.
It depends on your goal.
If you want to find you calling, make it a point to only do what you really feel like doing. There is an article dedicated to finding your calling here.
If you want to improve your relationships, invest more time in activities and communications with your partner, child, neighbour, etc. Though be cautious with how much time you invest with friends, some people can become addicted to meeting with their friend group and it would cancel out the digital detox itself by replacing one addiction with another.
I advise that you spend time in nature: take a walk in the park or the nearest forest; tend to your garden or pot plants inside your apartment, take a trip to the mountains or the seaside.
Can I just take a peek at what my friends on social media/discord/gaming server are doing?
No, not even one. This will set your digital detox progress back to 0.
How did it go for you?
One day I woke up determined to stop unhealthy procrastination habits so I closed my PC and sat on the couch for a long while. I didn’t do much at all that day or the next. I had a few sessions of what I call ‘boredom drunkenness’ or ‘the sillies’ which was entertaining.
My main goal was to find my calling so I sat and thought about what I really feel like doing. I had some difficulty with it but as the cravings reached their peak and faded away, what I actually felt like doing became more and more obvious.
At first, I started oil-painting. Then I took a long and pleasant walk into a new area of the forest and came back home with a ragged piece of half-rotten log. I felt like sculpting it so I ordered small chisels online which arrived ~5 days later. During those 5 days, I painted, draw, meditated, cooked, cleaned the house and other chores. Once the chisels arrived I was excited to try them so it was easy for me to start woodcarving but I kept up the other activities as well.
The whole 2.5 months were spent like that until one day I had the obvious revelation of my calling.
That’s when I finally turned the PC back on.
Is there anything dangerous that I should be aware of before I start?
Yes: If you don’t start soon, the precious time of your life will be wasted on trivialities and entertainment.