digital-detox-challenge-experience reportGuest article

Digital Detox Challenge: A field report

Did you know that Ringxiety is the mobile phone ringing that is heard when it is not there? 

In times when couples sometimes have nothing more to say to each other in the restaurant because two blinking screens take over completely and terms like "Digital Burnout" make the rounds, this challenge comes just in time!

4 weeks Digital Detox Challenge are behind me. The dear colleagues of camp breakoutthe holiday camp for adults, have gone to great lengths to give participants space for their own digital usage behaviour. Equipped with a workbook, I started to take a closer look:

  • How much time of the day do I spend with digital media?
  • How does my usage behaviour influence my everyday life?
  • How do I experience digital-free times?

Tracking & honest self-reflection

Since I do not own a smartphone, I concentrated on the laptop and the iPad for the period of 4 weeks. Because the old Samsung is exposed to below average daily unlocks and therefore not worth mentioning.

Relatively quickly, when I read the merciless questions of my colleagues, I noticed how mercilessly honest I would have to go into court with myself; lying to us, we are usually true masters in it! All right, look into the mirror!

One of the first tasks was the positive points that we can recognize from our digital devices. Spontaneously, the networking with other people and the possibility to get information came to my mind. For my area, where professional and private life are not very different, this means concretely:
Self-care and self-love impulses, mindfulness, vegan recipe suggestions.

I see digital moments as critical, especially in the evenings, because they are always To lose track of time and like being hypnotized by that screen. To endlessly gossip about Jailey aka Justin and Hailey instead of finally going to sleep.

Photography & Instagram

Exciting to observe, were the human relations. With people who don't use social media, I regularly feel pressure to justify myself à la: "I know it's not vital, but I'd have to take a picture again. The succulents next to the yogurt look just about right. It's for business. My brand needs to be used."

In fact, I don't miss digital devices on the road in the sense of being unreachable. More in the sense of being aesthetically pleasing. I've always loved photography, and now I'm doing it in relation to Instagram. Horror when the perfect flower appears on the screen and no device at hand is.

What I also noticed and where I get nervous after an image upload is that I obviously Likes are not as important as Comments. It resonates from old belief patterns to be criticized, always a little bit the fear that someone could make fun of me or devalue me.

Learnings from 4 weeks Digital Detox Challenge

What's changed?

1. enjoy dinner without media

In recent months has crept in, eating in front of the laptop, watching Ellen DeGeneres or series. With the challenge I had set the goal to spend 4 out of 7 dinners / week without digital devices at first.

I could really FEEL how boring I was the first times. The meals dragged on for what felt like centuries. It was really bad with soups, where spooning was eons.
With time I chewed again for a longer time and was able let thoughts wanderthe food tasted truer. It was also good to decide how long I wanted to spend online. When it was 6 and I hadn't finished my "research", I would still switch off and cook dinner, at most with a little background music or a podcast.

2. digital mucking out

Dormant contacts from the mobile phone and e-mails deleted, newsletter unsubscribed. Sorted, pushed, removed. You should see my desktop now! By nature I'm an absolute desktop messi and a download folder dump. What a relief to design a few folders (10 in concrete terms) and sort out the contents in a tough way. The trash was ON FIRE and the soul breathed a sigh of relief!

3. read before sleeping

John Irving always leaves! At least it was before Instagram. So about 11 years ago. Since then, it's been a rare occurrence for me to choose a book in the evening. Sometimes it affects my sleep.


During the challenge I took out books and magazines that I had started ages ago more often. Which had the advantage that I could sort them out immediately afterwards. Old photo albums were also rolled. I suddenly had a lot of time in the evening!

4. out without digital devices

My usage behavior is less pronounced at the weekend than during the week. Probably because I spend most of my time here with loved ones and on weekdays I sit at my laptop mainly for business. This makes me really enjoy the moments when the snow dances on my nose or the lake glistens when the sun shines on it. Just going for a walk without digital devices and therefore without having the perfect instant image in my head. I would like to work on that and I specifically intend to stress myself less about it.

This also includes, to leave your mobile phone in your pocket during appointments. I personally always do this and it stresses me enormously when friends use their mobile phones on the side. I consider it a success to have asked them to take the mobile phone off the table during dinner.

What I did before and what proved to be a good idea was to just leave the phone off in the morning. At night it is always off and so on weekends I sometimes don't even bother to switch it on at all. So you are not disturbed by beeping, it could be important.

5. write a letter

With the hand, touching paper, watching your own writing, how the letters fly over the boxes and how thoughts become words. To a story, a description. During the challenge I wrote a letter to my grandma, four pages long.

That was freeing and arranging. She had written to me beforehand and invited me to her 80th birthday party, among other things. To answer in this way also meant Commitment instead of just calling and saying yes.

Conclusion: Without connection the connection is better

For me personally, I still often see media use as in reward. Half an hour more of Instagram scrolling, commenting, distributing hearts when I was offline all day or all weekend. The tension rises, who has published what, who has something to report?

Targeted contents are central. There's no way I'm going online from "boredom." Focused means here:

  • for a Troubleshooting
  • to Relaxation
  • to Information on a specific subject
  • to pay for my Business to create and interact

In public transport I see how many people shine completely in their world, typing, playing, ear studs in. When I'm not riding my bike, I love riding the subway. Look around melook in front of me, wallow in thoughtuse the time to read.

In the Challenge I became more aware again of WHY I do this.

To go through life with care and moments in NOW are some of the most important pillars for me. I really want to live LIFEinstead of obeying blue screens and being a supporting actress.

Digital Balance

The fact is, it is not about prohibitions, demonization and renunciationsbut to... digital balance. More time, less stress, perceive more nature, trust your senses. Not to let us dictate our life, but to Take the oars into your own hands.

What about your user behaviour? Does your smartphone stress you or do you have everything in view? 

This article is a guest contribution from Jenny Kobi


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