BLOG – Digital Detox Update

A fortnight ago, I wrote that I was attempting to take a step back from social networking sites – doing a digital detox.

My primary goals were to

  • Engage better on social networking (more meaningful, less ranting)
  • Go minimalist on my smart phone (by removing unused applications, creating folders etc)
  • Use an adblocker – primarily to reduce my ability to obsess on comment pages
  • Track positive habit making
  • Learn how to mono-task…or put the bloody phone down

With regards to my little experiment, I feel like I’ve barely scratched the surface – if anything, I’m not sure I’ve gone far enough.

digital detox


Here is my progress report so far:

  • As I don’t trust myself on twitter, I log on, read a few status’, say the bare minimum and then delete the app again (I never really use the laptop for twitter so this seemed easier than resetting my password). Not ideal but better than previous.
  • I haven’t missed Tumblr or any of the other apps I deleted at all and haven’t noticed an increase in my Instagram usage.
  • I’ve maintained my ruthless stance regarding a minimal interface and deleted a few more apps. (11 folders across 3 pages – much better navigation.)
  • Given the goal of reducing my social networking time and apps; adding a new one probably wasn’t the smartest move I could make. However, I saw BJ Novak on the Daily Show discussing the app and I think he’s a hilarious writer (turns out he acts too – d’oh!) and lists are my jam* so I decided to give it a go. So far, it’s been a HUGELY positive community to engage with.
  • I miss comments. I don’t miss the rage. And my need to comment on the rage topic of the day has markedly reduced in just a fortnight…though I might still have a whinge with a friend!
  • I was great at tracking my habit making… for about three days. Then I forgot all about it until I started this post. Whoops.
  • With regards to putting my phone down – this is tending towards a fail – I don’t think that the casual observer would notice that I’m detox-ing AT ALL.

the passageWhich doesn’t read as a definite win or positive at all. However, I think I am starting to notice some small changes. I’m reading again – all three books for book club this month were completed ahead of time, which after my recent reading block was a great relief. And one of those books was a MONSTER!

Though I am on my phone the same amount; I do feel like it’s being used better. has been a lovely place to play and gif. Without the comment pages, I’m spending half the time reading the news than before, which means that I’m rediscovering Instructables and other more crafty/inspirational sites (though I’ve yet to do anything vaguely creative myself).

Also, I’m not really missing twitter. I mean, I am, but I’m not. In terms of the habit of checking for daily updates, I have a long way still to go. My brain is constantly screaming out for tidbits and news from my friends and those I share an interest with. However, when I have logged in (once a day roughly), I’ve had that first flush of joy and interest, before ending up pretty turned off by what I’ve read. While the passion and the topics are great, the anger is not. And as long as I allow myself to get caught up in that negative side, I should probably continue to avoid it.

UPDATED GOAL – check twitter at a particular time only when I have a specific task in mind (like checking the book club account).

Twitter-with-Megaphone-685x300Naturally, I had  this one really bad day and I un-ticked everything on the Adblocker and went to TOWN (reading) on the comment pages. I bitched and moaned along with each of them. Then – once I was sour, bitter, twisted and in a right snit – I rejoiced at my success. Actually, I went and made myself a coffee, had a good sigh and turned back on all the filters and slowly felt my living room become more civilized. By which I mean, I slowly returned to a state of civility. Some people are just not grown up enough for the internet. Some days I am those people.

Clearly, I need more than a week or a fortnight. I’m going to continue to do this for a bit longer and see what happens.


*I am so, so sorry. But lists are, in fact, my jam. {winces}


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