We Tried The Digital Detox Trend & Our Mindset Completely Changed

It's hard to deny that we're constantly glued to our screens and always connected. Personally, we would go as far as saying that sharing TikToks has become a unique love language, and the ability to access random information at any given moment is one of our favorite hobbies. However, the digital detox trend offers a way to take a break from all the electronic devices and online activities that can sometimes be overwhelming. This practice involves intentionally disconnecting from the digital world and putting aside phones, computers, and online activities for a designated period. By intentionally disconnecting for a while, we can reduce stress and anxiety, sleep better, be more productive, and even improve relationships with our loved ones.

As someone who is pretty much always connected to a screen, we totally get how hard it can be to disconnect. We even have a silicone bracelet tethered to our phone for times when we don't have a purse or pocket handy! But it's important to recognize our dependence on technology and make an effort to unplug now and then. That's why we decided to try a weekend-long digital detox. Two days without screens couldn't be that hard, right? And who wouldn't benefit from a little break from the stresses of everyday life?

Setting the stage for a mindful detox

As someone accustomed to being constantly tethered to devices, the decision to temporarily part ways with screens was deliberate and maybe a little anxiety-inducing. We wanted to keep family and friends in the loop about our experiment, so we set expectations early on. We told them they should call instead of texting or messaging if there was an urgent situation, which definitely piqued some curiosity about our plan.

Before we started our digital detox, we gathered some fun and alternative activities and materials to keep us entertained, like the books that had been sitting on our reading list for ages. We also made some plans to spend more time outdoors and tackle some much-needed chores.

To make sure we weren't too tempted to check our phones, we set them to Do Not Disturb mode. Our computers were shut down, and the tablet found a temporary home tucked away in a drawer, creating a physical boundary between us and the digital world we were consciously stepping away from. As we prepped for this digital detox, the act of consciously preparing our environment for a screen-free weekend already began to instill a sense of anticipation and mindfulness.

A weekend of surprises and realizations

The detox started on Friday evening, right after the workweek ended. Rather than mindlessly scrolling through social media with the TV as background noise, we engaged in a genuine conversation while watching a movie. As we got cozy, we ended up dozing off on the couch. Most nights, we have to force ourselves to go to bed at a decent hour.

Saturday was a jam-packed day for us; at first, not using devices wasn't an issue. We had to run errands for a holiday get-together and shop for furniture. During this time, though, we realized how much we rely on our digital gadgets for everyday tasks such as checking store hours, finding directions, or comparing prices. Still, we completed everything we needed to do despite the initial hiccups. After the full day, we hit the hay and again slept like a baby. On Sunday, we spent a fulfilling day doing some yard work and having wonderful face-to-face conversations with family. It was a refreshing change from our typical catch-up sessions over text messages.

On Sunday night, we finally used our phones to set alarms for Monday morning when curiosity won. What was supposed to be a quick check into what we had missed over the weekend turned into around 30 minutes of staring at the screen and scrolling through social media. Despite being exhausted, we found it hard to fall asleep after that. 

Embracing mindful digital habits

After our digital detox weekend, we had a lot to reflect on. We realized we were unintentionally incorporating a new habit into our daily routines. It was amazing to see that taking a break from our devices for a few days profoundly impacted us. We felt much more present and focused and much less distracted and forgetful.

While completely disconnecting from technology every weekend might be unrealistic, we've decided to incorporate some elements of it into our daily routine. We have decided to put the devices away at the end of every day and focus on our immediate surroundings before winding down, enjoying the benefits of wonderful sensory input, from a tasty snack shared on the sofa to a warm bath and soft pajamas before climbing into a soft bed after a long day.

We've noticed that taking a mindful approach to digital detox not only helped during the experiment but also positively impacted our overall well-being. Even taking a little time each day to unplug has become a routine that enhances the quality of our evenings and helps us feel more connected to ourselves and our surroundings. In today's constantly connected digital world, these moments of intentional disconnection are essential. Give it a go and experience the benefits of a mindful digital detox for yourself.