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Do a Techno-Detox

by jenny sansouci on July 15, 2011

Since I’ve been away in Costa Rica, I’ve noticed the true importance of doing a techno-detox once in awhile. I know, you’re probably thinking that means doing some kind of detox while dancing to techno music. Quite the contrary. It means taking a total break from technology! Obviously, I’m not going on a 100% techno-detox since I’m here writing this post, but I can tell you that I’ve cut down significantly from what I usually am plugged into back in NYC. There’s no phone service here, and the time available for me to connect to wifi is very limited, so I’ve been checking my email about 1 time per day, and sometimes not at all.

Instead of going on Facebook, Twitter, my blog, surfing the web, doing work, etc, I’ve been connecting face-to-face with lots of new friends, being deep in nature and having lots of reflective time to really relax.

Am I saying technology isn’t a majorly important factor in our everyday lives and careers? Of course not, who am I kidding, I love technology! But lots of people can have a tendency to feel “glued to their iPhone” or we may start to feel uneasy if we can’t check email frequently. If you relate, read on…

What are some of the benefits of doing a techno-detox?

Well, for one, it shows you how addicted you may be to technology in your normal, daily life. Constantly checking emails or being on the internet can give your brain an overwhelming amount of stimulation and it can lead to stress & anxiety. Giving yourself a break can be extremely calming – and will make you realize that refreshing your inbox all the time is probably more of a habit than a true necessity.

A techno-detox can help you become more reflective of what you truly want to do next, instead of letting your latest email or phone call dictate your next move. It can be very meditative and helps you get back in touch with your intuition.

A techno-detox helps you to avoid over-consumption of information. Just like over-consumption of food can lead to weight gain, too much information can lead to feelings of stress and overwhelm.

A techno-detox helps you to appreciate your natural surroundings, friends, family and especially yourself.

So what are some ways you can practice techno-detoxing?

You don’t have to turn off all technology for weeks at a time (unless you want to)! It can be simple to do short techno-detoxes in your everyday life. For instance:

-Blocking out a few hours of time each day when you don’t check email AT ALL, for instance, between 12pm and 3pm.

-Turning your phone off completely during meals

-Not watching TV except for 1 or 2 shows that you absolutely love and make you feel good

-Going away for the weekend to a place with limited phone/internet service, and just checking urgent messages 1 time per day.

-Not using multiple forms of technology all at one time (for instance, talking on the phone, surfing the internet and watching TV at the same time)

There are lots of ways to become more aware of your own technology overload and be more mindful of reducing it once in awhile. Try it out for yourself depending on your own unique situation and see how it feels. 🙂

Have you noticed any over-consumption of technology in your life? What’s your favorite way, if any, to do a techno-detox?

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Meg July 18, 2011 at 7:03 pm

I think that this is so important. I told my boyfriend that we should have one night a week where we come home and do the computer thing, but every other night we do things that don’t involve technology. We do like to watch netflix movies but since we don’t have cable I think that can slide. He is not 100% on board for the technology “night” but hoping he will be soon.

Matt July 18, 2011 at 7:11 pm

love this idea. Although I will use my ipad to read an eBook. This to be is as relaxing as reading a book and clearing my mind.

Jessie July 19, 2011 at 11:21 am

I was just in Costa Rica, too! While I was there I took a total break from technology. It was amazing! But I am still having a hard time catching up on everything I missed since I’m in a degree program that is mostly online. I wish I could have been productive like my boyfriend but the detox felt much needed…the problem is, it’s only been 2 weeks and I am craving another techno-detox already!

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