Aleteia logoAleteia logo
Sunday 01 August |
Saint of the Day: St. Alphonsus Liguori
home iconLifestyle
line break icon

5 Effective tips for a digital detox


RawPixel | CC0

Caroline Brock - published on 06/25/18

Moderation in all things ... including technology.

Maybe you were outraged by the recent Facebook data-mining revelations, or maybe you’re noticing ill-effects on your posture, mental health and relationships, or maybe you just want to use your time more productively – there are a whole host of reasons for taking a break from digital life. However, when screens become part of our daily routines, it can be difficult to break the cycle. Try these strategies to interrupt the dopamine loop and be more intentional in your tech use:

Start by picking just one day of the week to go screen-free

If that’s too much, try to reduce the number of times you look at your phone throughout the day by disabling notifications, unsubscribing from email lists, deleting unnecessary apps, or setting a “curfew” for your phone.

Relocate your devices

This could mean putting your phone, tablet, or laptop charger in the remotest corner of the house and storing the screen there most of the time.  This will help you avoid looking at a screen right before bed and first thing in the morning. You can also relocate your apps by reserving your home screen only for essential tools.

Make it as difficult as possible to use your devices

For your phone, try wrapping a hair band around the screen. You’ll still be able to answer an incoming call, but it will force you to be deliberate about accessing your apps. For TV, consider plugging the power cord into an outlet controlled by a wall switch, or draping the screen with a blanket. Adding a couple extra steps to turning on the TV will force you to ask yourself if you really want to binge-watch.

Fill the void

Have some activities ready for screen-free time: order a new book from the library; buy supplies for a craft project; join a club; pick out a new recipe to try; find a local park to explore; have coffee with a friend … the possibilities are endless.

Install an app to track (and/or block) your phone usage

RealizD, Moment, Freedom, and Thrive are just some examples. When I did this, I found I was wasting — truly wasting — hours of my life on social media. It was eating up my time but giving me no positive benefits in return. It took me a couple of months to work up the courage, but I finally quit Facebook and Instagram cold-turkey. I thought I would miss it, but I don’t! I’m getting so much more done with my days, and now I have time to do things that really feed my soul.

Read more:
Why are modern parents so overwhelmed and burned out?

Mental HealthSocial Media
Support Aleteia!

If you’re reading this article, it’s thanks to the generosity of people like you, who have made Aleteia possible.

Here are some numbers:

  • 20 million users around the world read every month
  • Aleteia is published every day in seven languages: English, French, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, and Slovenian
  • Each month, readers view more than 50 million pages
  • Nearly 4 million people follow Aleteia on social media
  • Each month, we publish 2,450 articles and around 40 videos
  • We have 60 full time staff and approximately 400 collaborators (writers, translators, photographers, etc.)

As you can imagine, these numbers represent a lot of work. We need you.

Support Aleteia with as little as $1. It only takes a minute. Thank you!

Daily prayer
And today we celebrate...

Top 10
Cerith Gardiner
Gold-winning Filipina Olympian shares her Miraculous Medal for th...
Cerith Gardiner
Simone Biles leaves the Olympics with an important lesson for her...
Mathilde De Robien
Did you know Princess Di was buried with a rosary?
Zelda Caldwell
World-record winning gymnast Simone Biles leans on her Catholic f...
Theresa Civantos Barber
The one thing we all should do before this summer ends
Zelda Caldwell
German women’s gymnastics teams modest dress protests sport’s ...
Lauren Daigle
J-P Mauro
After 3 years Lauren Daigle ousts herself from #1 Billboard spot
See More
Get Aleteia delivered to your inbox. Subscribe here.