Have you in the past or are currently spending too much of your valuable
time on social media, your cell phone, laptop, or binge watching Netflix? If you answer is yes to
any of these you may want to consider a digital detox (this is a cleansing of your mind from
technology). On this week’s show I’m going to step you through how to achieve a digital detox.
This can help you reconnect with those around you and rediscover mindfulness in your life.
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With the Holiday season upon us it is important that we give our full attention to the ones we
love. Your time and attention is one of the most valuable gifts you can give. In the last couple of
months I find myself in conversations with friends who feel like “life is going by so fast”. My
theory for feeling this way is that technology is stealing our time and making us feel anxious.
Not to worry, I am here to guide you through a digital detox, to help you slow down a little bit so
you can “Rediscover You”.
I’m a woman of faith so I’ll start from the Faith perspecte. I like to draw fron the word of God to
receive encouragement and wisdom. I look to scripture for guidance in how to increase my
faith, to make it bigger than my fears and strengthen my confidence.
Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:6 “ Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and
supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God,
which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Additionally, Isaiah 40:31 says, “But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They
will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not faint.”
We should always remember that God’s power and strength will never diminish. He is never too
tired or too busy to help and listen to us. His power is our source of confidence. So, when you
experience soul-crushing anxiety, and you can’t take another step, and your plans aren’t working
out - just remember this, you can call on God and He will renew your strength and give you fresh
As a Technologist I have to work extra hard to put the phone down and get off the computer so I
can rest my eyes and my brain. I strive to educate myself, so I conducted research in this area to
understand why we are suspectable to becoming hooked or additcted to technology. It all starts
in our head; there are two chemicals that make our body and brain react:
1. Dompamine: Dopamine was "discovered" in 1958 by Arvid Carlsson and Nils-Ake
Hillarp at the National Heart Institute of Sweden. Dopamine is created in various parts of
the brain and is critical in all sorts of brain functions, including thinking,
moving, sleeping, mood, attention, motivation, seeking and reward.
2. Cortisol: Think of cortisol as nature’s built-in alarm system. It’s your body’s main
stress hormone. It works with certain parts of your brain to control your mood,
motivation, and fear.
David Greenfield, Ph.D., founder of the Center for Internet and Technology Addiction. says
that “Smartphones put us in an ever-increasing state of hyper-vigilance, where we’re always
feeling compelled to check our calls, texts, social media alerts, and email. This keeps the
adrenals constantly activated and cortisol levels elevated.”
Susan Weinschenk Ph.D. wrote an article titled, “Why We're All Addicted to Texts, Twitter
and Google” and explains Dopamine makes you addicted to seeking information in an endless
loop. In this article, she asks the following questions:
Do you ever feel like you are addicted to email or twitter or texting?
Do you find it difficult to ignore your email if you see that there are messages in your
Do you think that if you could ignore your incoming email or messages or smartphone
buzzing you might actually be able to get something done at work?
She goes on to state - the alluring draw of the Internet and our smartphones alerts,
beeps, buzzes, or notifications has us consumed and distracted.
These questions really got my attention, because I found myself answering YES. So I am taking
the digital detox challenge this holiday season. I want to get back to “Rediscovering Me” and I
want to encourage you to take the challenge with me and “Rediscover You”.
Does a digital detox seem daunting? Consider instituting the following four habits to prepare for
a full blown digital detox to “Rediscover You”:
1. Remove distractions: Use the four quadrant theory—your four quandrants are
family, friends, health, and work. Anything that is not essential to your four quadrants should be
removed. That means no alerts, beeps, buzzes, or notifications of any kind, perhaps with the
exception of voicemails for emergencies.
2. Don't glamorize busyness: "I'm so busy!" are really just our attempts to avoid making hard
choices about how we live our lives. Staying busy is easier than taking time to pursue what
would really make us happy. As a Technologist, I know first hand how the Internet makes it so
easy to be "busy" indefinitely. So be careful not to glamorize busyness. By doing so, you can
start to think more clearly about how you are choosing to spend your time.
3. Always ask "why" when you pull out your phone: Sure, our smartphones are handy tools to
find answers, keep in touch with friends, or even to check the time. But often, more often than
we think, we use our phones to distract, to avoid, or to ignore whatever is happening right in
front of us. Keeping us disconnected and distractred those around us.
4. Lastly, periodically, fast from electronics or have a digital detox: You heard me! Conduct
a “fast” from your digital devices. Spend a weekend or an entire week durig the holiday season
with no electronic devices. It might feel scary at first, but it is an excellent opportunity to
reconnect with ourselves and others.
Are your ready to take on a digital detox?
Mark Twain said, “The secret to getting ahead is getting started”.
So, let’s get started!
But before I do let me share my personal affirmation with you – saying it out loud to myself
every morning gets me excited and keeps moving forward with my personal goal of growing
Voices of Encouragement to empower all women.
I’m a powerful purpose driven woman on a mission
In 2017 I assumed this position
Thanking God for my direction and clarity, cause he’s my creator He chose this career for
So just sit back, step back, and watch me flow, cause VOE, we are on the grow
We keep showing, suiting, stepping up to the plate
Believe extreme success if our only fate
And as break pass this invisible wall of fear
Let me keep real and be very clear
If you think you know you have no idea
Know idea is what you have
Cause I’m supercharged I’m highly powered
I’m bad to the bone the name is Edna E. Howard
I read that in this digital world, it’s easy to find yourself logged in, online, posting, commenting,
and responding almost every minute of every day. Whether it’s out of necessity or just because
you don’t want to miss out on anything that’s going on (FOMO – fear of missing out), you can
find yourself feeling digitally overloaded. Do you want to take a break from all the emails, texts,
messages, comments, posts, and updates, but you do not know where to start? Its all good, we’re
about to explore the steps to digital freedom: you can do this if you plan, unplug, and make the
most of your time… then, you can ease back into the digital on your terms.
How to do a Digital Detox from wikihow.com
Motivate yourself. Deciding to do a digital detox can be a big decision. You may worry about
what you’ll miss by logging out. You might even wonder what you’ll do with your time. You
can do a digital detox if you remind yourself of all the good reasons why you should take this
time to log off and unplug.
Make a list of three to five things you want to try to get done during your detox
time. For instance, you might write that you want to work in your garden, read a
good book, organize your closets, or catch up with old friends.
Remind yourself of the benefits of the detox. For example, tell yourself, “I’ll feel
more relaxed, in tune with myself, and in tune with my family and friends.”
Tell yourself that the detox will give you a break from some of the information
overload you may be feeling.
Choose when to detox. Although you may want to start your digital detox right now,
you should think about the timing of your detox first. Deciding to digitally disconnect
during peak work time-frames or around exams time if you are in school may not be
practical. Choose a time when you have fewer responsibilities and when there will be
less consequences for missing a message or two.
Think about having your detox over a weekend, school break, or holiday;
you are less likely to receive important messages during those times.
Look at your calendar and pick a time when you don’t have any upcoming
deadlines or important events; this way you won’t miss updates about
Think through the logistics. You may not realize all the ways in which you
depend on your smartphone and other devices in your day-to-day life. For
instance, if you use your phone as an alarm, do you have an alarm clock you can
use while you detox? If you want to listen to music during the detox, do you have a
radio? If you use your phone or computer for driving directions, do you have maps
so you won't get lost? Before your detox, try to note all the different ways in which
you rely on your devices and think of other ways to meet your needs.
You may also need to think about how you will do this if your family is not
participating in the detox. What will you do if everyone is watching TV? Do you
have a digital-free area where you can retreat to read or work on a craft project?
How will you fill your time and avoid the temptation when other people are using
Decide how long to detox. In general, a digital detox will last about one to two
days. This gives you time to connect with your friends and family and do some of the
things you’ve been meaning to do. But, if you have a lot of obligations, this might be too
long. Deciding how long to detox will help you plan for it and anticipate any issues that
may come up during your detox time.
Consider your responsibilities and obligations. How long can you digitally detox
without getting behind in your work?
Think about people that depend on you. Ask yourself if there is anything you would
need to do online for them during this time.
Give advance notice. If you are including work or school in your digital detox, you may
need to let others know what you are doing. This way they can let you know what’s
going on and you won’t miss messages about major deadlines or other important
Do you have a landline so that someone can call and reach you in case of an
emergency? You might also want to let family members know that it's okay to
show up unannounced if there is an emergency.
Ask someone to contact you with important messages if your digital detox is going
to last more than 12 hours. For instance, say something like, “Could you call me
on my landline if we have a schedule update at work?”
If you primarily communicate with people via text, email, or messaging, you may
want to let them know what’s going on.
Log out of social networks. Nothing can ruin a digital detox or any peaceful time like
an electronic device that’s beeping, binging, and chirping every two minutes. Staying
logged in will make it easy for you to quickly turn on your device, especially if you have
widgets, and check your social networking updates. Logging out and turning off all
notifications for social media can help you stick with your detox.
You don’t need to disable your account, but you can log out of the app on your
device; you can log back in once your digital detox is over.
Make sure you know your login information before you log out of the app.
Turn off your alerts and notifications if you can’t or don’t want to log out of your
Put your electronic devices out of reach. When your device is right by your side you
may be tempted to check it to make sure you aren’t missing anything. Keeping your
phone, tablet, or laptop at a distance will make it easier for you to do a digital detox.
Remember the adage “out of sight, out of mind.”; put your device in a closet,
drawer, or somewhere out of sight.
If you need to, ask a family member or close friend to keep your device for you
during your digital detox.
Help someone. One great way to make the most of your digital detox is to spend some
of your time doing something to help someone else. It doesn’t have to be a big thing like
repainting their house, but you can take an hour or two to do something that benefits
Volunteer for a cause or organization that you support or attend a charitable event
in your neighborhood.
Offer to go grocery shopping for your dad, walk your neighbor’s dog, or help your
friend wash her car.
Meditate and relax. During a digital detox is a great time to practice relaxation techniques and
calming strategies. When your detox is over, these strategies will help you release stress and
tension when you begin to feel digital overload or stress in general.
Try spending just five to 10 minutes meditating. Get comfortable and try to focus on your
breathing. If you find your thoughts drifting, gently bring them back to your breathing.
Practice deep breathing techniques. Slowly inhale into your belly, hold it, and then slowly
exhale. Repeat these steps for a few breaths.
Learn something new. One of the challenges of doing a digital detox is boredom. You
may be so used to being online that you don’t know what to do with yourself. Why not
use your time during your digital detox to try a new activity or learn a new skill?
Read a book or article about a topic that interests you; you can even go to the
library to look at a hard copy instead of a digital one.
Take a class or lesson to learn a new skill or talent; for instance, take a
gymnastics class or sign up for foreign language lessons.
Socialize with loved ones. It can be easy to let social networking and messaging take
the place of face-to-face or even phone interaction. You can make the most of your
digital detox by spending at least some of your time with your family and friends. You
can use this time to catch up, talk, or just hang out.
Give them your undivided attention when you’re together. You don’t have your
electronic device distracting you, so look them in the eyes and show them you’re
Invite them somewhere or accept their invitations to go out; catch a movie, grab
some coffee, or play some basketball.
Log in one app at a time. Ease yourself back into the digital world. This way you won’t
become overwhelmed by the information and entertainment. It will also give you the
opportunity to think about which social networks, apps, and games and actually want
and need to use.
Start by logging back into your primary email account. Prioritize your messages
and respond to those you need to.
Delete any messages that aren’t important and take a few minutes to unsubscribe
to any newsletters or updates you don’t really need.
Limit yourself. After your detox, try setting limits for your digital time. This way you can
avoid getting caught up in the never-ending cycle of emails, alerts, updates, and posts.
Try checking and responding to emails only in the morning (between the hours of
9 and 10am, for instance) and at the end of the day (from 4:30 to 5pm).
Turn your notifications off on social media apps and sites; this way you won’t be
tempted to check every time your electronic device beeps.
Limit the time you spend on social networking sites; for example, you might set a
limit of 15 minutes for being on Twitter or Snapchat.
Do a mini detox. You will get the most benefit out of your digital detox if you make it
something that you do more than once. You don’t have to do a full detox for a day or
more. Doing a mini detox, even for just an hour or two, might help you briefly recharge
Consider the hour before bed as a non-digital time; put your electronic devices on
vibrate and turn any non-essential alerts off.
Have a regular weekend detox for a few hours; for example, you might want to
spend every Sunday morning free of your electronics.
Well there you have it – practical recommendations to assist you in conducting a
digital detox in order to “Rediscover You”!
Thanks so much for listening in.
If you have enjoyed our time together please share this podcast, or tell a friend about it.
Mark your calendars for the upcoming Voices of Encouragements Women’s
Empowerment Workshop scheduled for Saturday, January 26, 2019. For more
information email me at Voemetoday@gmail.com.
You can learn more about True conversations network at: www.true-conversations.com
and more about Voices of Encouragement at: www.voicesofencouragment.com.
Have a triple P Week: Powerful, Positive, and Productive
Until we meet again remember Ephesians 4:1 “Walk worthy of the calling with which you were you called.”