Internet detox.

1st September, 2018
My typical day... I open my eyes, woken up by the annoying alarm melody on my phone. I reach for the phone to quickly turn it off. After few minutes I will find myself scrolling up and down facebook or instagram, replying to comments and e-mails. Spending the first hour of my day in bed with my brain being 'at work' from the very first minute. I answer questions, respond to collaboration offers, send out invoices, help and advise my readers and watch other lives... Not realising that I do not have time for my own life, thoughts, planning the day ahead, for myself or family. Immediately I fall into a whirl from which I will more than likely not break out until midnight.


One full-day online detox

It started with a full-day cold turkey detox. I have determined myself to turn off my phone and laptop on the weekend. I cut myself off from the internet and all electronic devices. On that day I didn't check my social media platforms, I haven't looked into my inbox, I didn't even take any calls or replied to any text messages. Hands down, at the beginning it was pretty hard for me, I was constantly trying to reach for my phone, out of a habit. I wanted to post instastories, send photos of my little girl to family and friends on WhatsApp or simply watch a youtube video. Something that was the norm for me suddenly was prevented.

Fear of missing out

In the first hours of the detox, I had the feeling that something was missing. In psychology there is a special term 'FOMO' which stands for 'fear of missing out', a fear, anxiety and discomfort associated with the feeling that something passes by, we miss out and permanently lose it. Hence the constant need to refresh facebook and turn the Instagram app on. We want to be up to date with information which is often irrelevant to us. In the first few hours I felt discomfort associated with FOMO. What if someone can't get through to me, what if I miss out on an interesting opportunity or not upload a photo on Instagram...
  
Conscious of this syndrome, I quickly realised my symptoms and decided to take things into my hands. What you should know is that FOMO can lead to depression, dissatisfaction with life and addiction to the cyber world. This will lead to becoming miserable and unhappy. The quest for information will eat us alive.

And this is why we need...

Balance

That day a lot has happened. Me and my husband we took our daughter out to a world food buffet, and spent the afternoon in the park running around, being ourselves. Normally, I would be posting insta stories and updates about our day across Instagram and facebook, but nope, not that day.

And you know what, that afternoon I've realized I was completely cleansed of this necessity of reporting interesting moments of my life. I no longer felt that I was losing the potential, or that my readers must keep up to date with my every day life. I gave up my duty, which I imposed on myself. It was extremely cleansing and I was impressed that it worked in such short time. I quickly learned to accept it as a norm.

Morning and evening internet detox

A full day of internet detox, laptop and phone appears in my life 4 times a month on average. In addition, I introduced a morning and evening detox, which consists of putting away the phone and laptop 1h before bedtime and not reach out for them until 1h after I had my breakfast.
 

I hope I've manage to inspire at least a handful of you to include such detox into your lifestyle.