Site icon Dan Silvestre

Digital Detox: How to Unplug From Tech and Get Your Life Back

digital detox
digital detox

Like. Click. Swipe. Share. Binge. Repeat.

We are officially screen junkies.

A new study shows that American adults spend more than 11 hours per day on their tech, watching, reading, listening, and interacting with media. That’s up from nine hours and a half just four years ago.

We’ve let all this tech into our lives without ever questioning if we wanted or needed it.

Screens deliver a never-ending barrage of new shiny things so we’re always craving for more and more, as hamsters trapped on a wheel.

The consequences?

Eyestrains, constant headaches, back and neck problems, attention span decrease, worse quality of our sleep, weaker social bonds, just to name a few.

A new trend has emerged of digital detox “retreats” and“camps” where people go to unplug from smartphones and computers. It all sounds extreme until you realize that tech, like drugs, is an addiction. The irony? Most of this tech didn’t exist 10 years ago. We created this problem.

However, few have the time or resources to pay a digital detox expert to not let them use their tech. As such, we need to use our willpower to create our own retreat.

It’s time to unplug.

Let the digital detox begin…

How to Use the Digital Detox Guide

The ultimate goal of digital detox is to develop a healthier relationship with our tech. As such, you are the ultimate judge of what’s good and what’s bad for you.

Take it step-by-step and adjust as you see fit for your life. Read the principles as suggestions rather than rules. You can either follow them or not. Totally up to you.

To make your digital detox easier, I broke this guide into 4 levels:

  1. White Belt Beginner: the very basics of digital detox, we’ll cover the easiest ways to simplify your relationship with tech right now. Most changes take less than 5 minutes to implement. The goal of this section is to get some early wins fast to help you build momentum to keep going
  2. Blue Belt Student: we’ll build on the foundations of Level 1 and start asking questions. You’ll learn how to quit your bad habits and fundamentally change your interaction with tech by building simple systems
  3. Black Belt Master: on Level 3 of your digital detox, we’ll start wiring new habits and routines that will change your relationship with tech forever. To do so, you must adjust your defaults and become a better gatekeeper of what you allow in your life
  4. Sensei Teacher: you understand that adding value to life is about removing. The previous levels taught you that sometimes the best option is to quit the technologies that don’t contribute to your goals. Your personal mantra is “less is more

Some of the changes might take a while to stick. Remember: take it step-by-step. Slow and steady wins the race.

“It does not matter how slowly you go as long as you do not stop.” — Confucius

Digital Detox Level 1: White Belt Beginner

“Life is really simple, but we insist on making it complicated”. — Confucius

The aim of this Level is to make little changes that will make your life easier with tech.

It’s intentionally simple so you make the changes right away and small to give you wins early on and build momentum.

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Digital Detox Level 2: Blue Belt Student

“The one who knows all the answers has not been asked all the questions.” — Confucius

Well done on completing Level 1!

To get to Blue Belt level you’ll need to start asking the right questions, such as “Is this technology contributing to my goals?” or “Does it help me focus or leads to distraction?”.

You’ll also learn how to quit bad habits and change how you interact with technology using systems.

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Digital Detox Level 3: Black Belt Master

“Men’s natures are alike; it is their habits that separate them.” — Confucius

Congratulation on completing Level 2!

You are now ready for prime time. To become a Black Belt Master, we’ll re-wire your brain with new habits that will change your relationship with technology.

Part 3 of your digital detox journey is all about adjusting your defaults and become a better gatekeeper of what you allow in your life.

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Digital Detox Level 4: Sensei Teacher

“What the superior man seeks is in himself; what the small man seeks is in others.” — Confucius

Well done on getting your digital detox Black Belt! Pat yourself on the back, you’re doing a fine job if I may say so.

You are now ready for the last step of this digital detox journey. Your mission, should you choose to accept it, is to understand the power of less.

Because the mantra of the Sensei is “less is more”, you will consciously remove or quit technologies — or parts of it — in order to simplify your life.

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Going Beyond This Digital Detox Guide

Uff, that was a long read. I’m glad you stuck around for this long and I hope it was worth it.

I know I said it before but I’ll say it again here: take these as suggestions, not rules. Apply the ones that make sense in your life and move on.

It’s utopian to believe we can remove all tech from our life. What we can do, however, is be conscious on how we use our tech. And that’s what a digital detox is about. It’s being more intentional with our technology so that we can use it for our own benefit, rather than get trapped by it.

With few adjustments, you’ll have more free time than ever, you’ll reduce your stress levels and generally be a happier human being.

After all, isn’t that what we are all looking for?

P.S. I just finished Parks & Rec, hence all gifs. I’m emotional. Don’t judge me.

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