By the end of 2017, the constant interruption of emails, WhatsApp and Instagram notifications left me completely and utterly mentally exhausted. It had just been one thing after another for me and where my home was usually my safe haven. The place where I could rely on for pure golden unadulterated silence, it was now filled with all sorts unfamiliar sounds. My sister had my gorgeous nephew and moved in with us. I also moved out of my room and up into the tiny loft so she could have the bigger room (yes I know, I must really love her to do it so willingly).
You know how they say, messy house equals messy mind? Well, this is exactly how things have been feeling.
I couldn’t cope with not having time and a space to switch off and as much I love Whatsapp for keeping in touch with people. I’ve been struggling with constantly having to be available to answer people right away. The conversations don’t seem to end (again, not a bad thing at all!) and when others see you’re online new conversations begin and then there’s the group chats that just keep on going.
My mind just wasn’t switching off and it was only when I sat ugly crying because I couldn’t keep up with a group chat that I realised that I needed to have a think about my life choices. And also to check my period tracker because lolz.
I decided to start 2018 off with a small digital detox.
I thought about turning off my wifi and data completely but that really takes away the only time to myself to switch off that I’m getting at the moment – scrolling twitter whilst in the bathroom. It just wasn’t practical, so instead I’ve turned off all of my notifications to absolutely everything. Every single last one of them has been turned off. No more pinging sounds or red numbers in different parts of my homescreen demanding to be looked at.
In all honesty, I thought I would miss it. I thought I would still be tapping away at those icons to have a look and see what everyone was saying but I didn’t. At all. It was like a breath of fresh air and I finally relaxed….a little bit.
As the days went on I felt more present and I felt that I could appreciate being in the moment more. I’ve spent so much quality time with my newborn nephew, time that I will always cherish (I was the first person to make him chuckle at just 8 weeks :D). In all honesty, I have started really disliking those people who meet up with you or you’re doing something with and they’re just sat there scrolling through their phones. Not cool.
I was able to concentrate more and my productivity increased threefold. I mean just look at how many blog posts I’ve got drafted! I’ve tweaked my blog design so you can now sign up to get my new posts directly in your inbox and I’m working on a few exciting projects for the new year. I’ve arranged meetups with friends I haven’t spoken to in months and I’ve picked up a new hobby! All in the space of a few weeks!
So why am I really writing up this post? If I’m honest, it’s partly guilt. I feel guilty because I’ve been ignoring almost everyone and if truth be told, I’ve loved it. It’s not that I’m reading your messages and emails and comments and ignoring them outright, I just haven’t been getting them right away. When I do finally read them, if it’s relevant I promise you’ll get a response. If I haven’t responded it’s completely ok to double message/email me as a reminder. If it’s maybe the 5th time you’re reminding me then perhaps I am ignoring you (lol). The only thing I’m picking up at the moment is text messages and blog emails that are marked as urgent.
In just a few weeks, I’ve found this detox so liberating and not once have I been hit with a case of FOMO. It’s not that I don’t care about you or what you have to say, I promise it’s really not that – I just need some down time. The benefits of not constantly checking my phone are currently greatly outweighing everything else that I most probably will continue with it, at least for the time being.
When was the last time you had a digital detox?