Digital Detox — From Virtual to Real

We know that we chose the wrong path when there are apps coming which aims to not letting you use your phone.

Today, we are spending an average of 3 hours and 30 minutes on our phones. For some specific age groups, it’s even more. So much that it surpasses their sleeping hours. Technology has obviously grown but isn’t it advancing in the wrong direction? The aim was to help humanity but it is creating gaps among human. I spend more time looking at my phone than being with someone else.

I prefer to text people as talking on face requires me to be attentive. I like to study on edx because it provides me with ease than class lectures. I hear people on Medium instead of social gatherings. I appreciate my friends on Instagram and not in real life. There is no doubt that we are making our life easier but we are getting antisocial day by day. Today, we are connected to the world — wait for it — on our phone.

We need to get out of this virtual reality of our own and face the real one. The world is beautiful and people need to be loved. We are constantly running from ourselves, we have forgotten to think. None of us can sit idle for an hour. We are escaping from our own thoughts, and the easiest escape is our phone. I see my friends at the lunch table busy on their phones. We might be a group of 10 but feels like everyone is eating alone.

Our habit is eating us. Something is to be done. Here I bring a few tips tried and tested on me.

1. Change your screen to Grayscale

Removing colors from your smartphone is the best thing you can do to avoid the psychological tricks played by UI/UX experts. Their appealing RED shades make their app so alarming and alerting that you can’t just avoid them. But switching to Black & White you can avoid those red notification dots that makes you click and check updates.

On the other side, it makes your phone’s battery last longer. Monochrome requires a bit less processing and the load on your battery is a bit less. It also makes your phone so boring that you will never like to stare at it.

The first step is done! Moving on to the next.

2. Switch off all the notifications

‘‘Ohh you decided to cut on your phone’s usage? How can you, we won’t let you’’ — notifications.

The notifications were made for a reason. Reason to bring you to the app again. Turning them off is the only way to break off your 24x7 relationship with the apps. Go to settings and turn them off, all of them! Not even WhatsApp is allowed.

‘‘But I may miss important emails and messages’’ — the addict.

Set alarms! What I do that in intervals of 4 hours I set alarms to check my WhatsApp, emails and LinkedIn. Instagram and Facebook can be included as well but I try to fully restrict myself from them.

3. Apps are there for a reason

Mobile apps are there for a reason and I am not talking about the typical ones. There are a number of apps which encourages you not to use your mobile phone. Then why not give them a try? Some of the apps that you can go for are -

Forest: Stay focused

Space

Smart Detox — Preventing smartphone addiction

4. Don’t carry your power bank and charger

Smartphone batteries drain very fast which is something beneficial for us. But on the other side, the power bank industry is booming. We, humans, are highly capable of finding ways to pleasure and get distracted. The backup option of getting our phones charged makes up using it more. The trick is to trick your mind. Leave all your power banks and chargers. You now have a very limited amount of energy which in turn will restrict you to use your phone often.

These techniques are from my personal perspective and helped me in cutting down my phone’s usage. I now have 60% of the battery remaining in the evening which used to be less 10% (sometimes after charging in between).

There are a lot of pros to this apart from detoxification. I have more time now. My assignments, my projects are on time. I have started reading more books than ever before. I now notice small things in the environment, the metro and every road I take. I even take interest in talking to people, knowing their views and started getting more social.

I hope that this might help other smartphone addicts like me to switch from a virtual life to a real one.

Most of my learning in this article are from a workshop on Digital Detox by Ankit Vengurlekar and Anurag Iyer at India Digital Summit 2019.

Environment | Entrepreneurship | Philosophy | India