Last Friday, after I read an article kindly shared in a tweet by @JennaLucas81, I was finally spurred to carry out my first digital detox! It has only taken me a year of consideration and then a week of actually gearing myself up…
Initially, I was going to spend a week away from the virtual world but then capitulated with the duration of a weekend instead.
So what did I learn and notice?
- I really do use social media (especially Twitter) A LOT!
I would not quite say that I fall into the FOMO mentality, however, I certainly enjoy keeping up with the variety of tweets, chats and group DMs being shared.
- I am on constant alert:
I was surprised to actually ‘see’ the number of gadgets that I have set up to receive Twitter alerts. They then provide a constant source of distraction that I have now grown accustomed to. Working out how to turn off the alerts from 5 different types of devices was an amusing experience on Friday.
- Digital detox is not easy:
The first day was actually very challenging as I am so used to checking both mobiles (yes two!) for their LinkedIn/Twitter/Pinterest/Yammer alerts, emails and Viber/Whatsapp updates.
- I had more ‘head space’:
Curtailing the interactions with the virtual world meant that I had less to process in my mind. The cognitive load in this respect was eased. Unsurprisingly, I felt ‘mentally’ liberated by the third day of the detox. Being less crowded with my thoughts provided my own version of mindfulness.
- I created a renewed sense of control:
Giving myself ‘permission’ to disconnect was a very powerful feeling as it has allowed me to avoid feeling guilty about stepping back. As much as I love Twitter and anything related to education, it was great to pause and not feel the (self-inflicted) sense of having to keep up with it all.
In light of what I had learnt during the three-day experience, I have decided that a digital detox will become a more regular feature of my well-being focus.
So if you see the ‘KitKat’ image as part of my Twitter profile, you will know that my respite will help with #teacher5aday beyond the virtual world.