Helpful Tips about How to Do A Digital Detox

Helpful Tips about How to Do A Digital Detox
Written By: Counselling Psychologist
M.Sc. Psychology - Swansea University, UK.
Reviewed By: Counselling Psychologist
MA Psychology Pennsylvania State University, USA
Last Updated: 24-02-2023

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Can you spare some time and not check your phone for a few hours? How long can you do so? If missing out on a single notification makes you break out in cold sweat then you probably are due for a digital detox. We live in a digital world and hence it is very difficult to completely unplug. We find ourselves staying online and scrolling through the feed, posting, commenting, or responding throughout the day either out of necessity or just because we don’t want to miss out. It's just not the ones who are totally addicted to technology that need to unplug but almost everyone can benefit from this.

Overusing technology is bad for many reasons, some of which are listed below:

  • Screen Light: Blue light from the screens of smartphones, laptops, etc affects the sleep cycle especially if used before bedtime. This increases the risk of many serious illnesses like cancer, obesity, etc.
  • Productivity: The constant distraction from notifications makes it difficult to concentrate and be productive.
  • Compulsion: The urge to stay online all the time hinders the relationships we have. We tend to spend less time with people and more time on our devices.
  • Time: Over usage of technology adds to the stress levels of a person. Studies have shown that heavy daily usage of technology is associated with an increased risk of mental health problems such as depression, and anxiety among adolescents[1].
  • Work: Trying to always remain connected online disrupts the work-life balance[2].
  • Self-esteem: Social comparison with friends, strangers, or celebs makes it hard to be content with what you have and issues of self-esteem may arise.

A digital detox from time to time is needed to restore our lives. So what exactly is a digital detox? It refers to a period of time when a person refrains from using tech devices such as smartphones, televisions, computers, tablets, and social media sites[3]. A digital detox does not necessarily mean complete separation from your phone and other devices but is more about setting boundaries.

How to do a digital detox:

  • If doing a complete digital detox i.e. refraining from using any device is possible then you should definitely try that. But if such a situation is not possible due to work, or school requirements, then pick a suitable duration that fits your schedule.  For example, if you need to attend your classes during the daytime then you can try doing a min-detox at the end of the day.
  • Completely disconnecting is mostly not a feasible option but you can always set limits. Supposedly, you have decided to spend some quality time with your family, you can put your phone on the “Do not disturb” mode to avoid any unnecessary disturbance.
  • Try to avoid using your phones before you go to sleep or immediately after getting up.
  • An easy way to kick-start your digital detox can be by turning off the push notifications on your phone. Notifications are mostly responsible for causing distractions. Turning them off can help concentrate better. Instead of checking certain apps or websites after each notification, set a time during the day when you would specifically check your messages and other mentions. The duration of time should be not more than 20 to 30 minutes.
  • You can try giving up all the devices for a short period of time or pick one day per week wherein you would not operate any device or can just restrict yourself from using a specific app or game for some duration.

Some helpful tips:

  • Letting friends and family know about your detox can prove to be quite helpful.
  • Deleting social media apps can prove to be helpful as it restricts easy access.
  • Try and distract yourself by maybe going for a walk or out for dinner with friends when you feel the temptation to use your phone.
  • Always keep track of your progress as it can prove to be a source of motivation.

Taking a little digital detox might sound a bit off-beat but it is a personal endeavor. You eventually come to realize that there is much more free time in hand and much more to life than just screens. This digital detox can prove to be worthy by letting you explore what actually makes you happy. Balance is the key to a good life, and a healthy mind and body. We should use technology as a tool and be slaves to it. Try and remember the potential and power of the human mind and spirit.



  1. George, M. J., Russell, M. A., Piontak, J. R., & Odgers, C. L. (2017). Concurrent and Subsequent Associations Between Daily Digital Technology Use and High-Risk Adolescents’ Mental Health Symptoms. Child Development, 89(1), 78-88. doi:10.1111/cdev.12819
  2. Nam, T. (2013). Technology Use and Work-Life Balance. Applied Research in Quality of Life, 9(4), 1017-1040. doi:10.1007/s11482-013-9283-1
  3. Cherry, K. (2020, March 17). The Benefits of Doing a Digital Detox. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from
  4. Asprey, T. (2019, December 23). Digital Detox: How to Disconnect, and Why It s So Good for You. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from
  5. Davis, T. (2018, January 09). 5 Ways to Do a Digital Detox. Retrieved September 14, 2020, from

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