How to Digital Detox… from a Digital Director
April 15, 2020
BY: Wally Marzano-Lesnevich
Ways You Can Do a Digital Detox During Pandemic
The other day I deleted Twitter from my phone. A surprising step from a digital director, but here we are, in surprising times.
Normally I like to stay behind the scenes here, as the connector between our web people at JLB and our attorneys, making sure blog posts are written and posted, and webpages are updated (for instance, we just launched a new one with helpful content on the COVID-19 pandemic). I also frequently post to our social media accounts, across platforms with the handle @lmllawyers.com.
I also like to stay plugged in— I’ve been working from home (and coffee shops) for many years (which prepared me for our current #WFH set-up), and am easily findable across numerous social media platforms. However, in these unprecedented and odd times, after reading precisely the wrong story one night that sent me into a spiraling COVID-19/Twitter-induced panic attack, I deleted the app.
As more and more of our lives move online (remote schooling! Zoom happy hour! Tweaked meal kits!), it’s more important than ever to be mindful of our online usage. Yes, just like you, reading this online, I’m online all the time now, more than ever: streaming, ordering, reading, etc. But let’s look at a few ways you can do a digital detox right now:
- Watch your screen time: Most smartphones will track this for you. Yes, the tendency now, at home, is to always be on our smartphone, but make a conscious effort to leave it in another room, or switched off for a while— or at home on a walk around the neighborhood. Plus, when you can, read physical books, newspapers, magazines— content you don’t need your screen for.
- Set times to check the news: If you’re a morning person, maybe it’s NPR; if you tune in to the news, tune into one specific program you like or trust, not 24 hours worth. If you want to check a certain news site, log on (maybe with a cup of tea or glass of wine), and then log-off— don’t constantly hit refresh.
- Set work (and news) boundaries: With a lot of us working remotely from home (including our office), we have to remind ourselves to stop working, especially when the e-mails never really stop coming! An excellent free website is Tomato-Timer. Do 25 minutes of screen work, then reward yourself with 5 minutes to stretch, fix a snack, whatever. Another app— though not free, despite the name— is Freedom which will literally block websites, apps, and the Internet for you.
- Use apps to de-stress: Sounds counterintuitive, but whether it’s Unwind, Headspace, Buddhify or Naturespace, the right app can go a long way towards your mental health during this stressful time. Just remember to power your phone off when you’re done!
- Unplug everything: Sometimes I wish we could unplug and then re-plug 2020, but failing that, un-plug everything for an hour, especially before bed. Give yourself time to light a candle, cook a meal, listen to WQXR on the radio [yes, a radio!] has been a personally-calming choice), read a book that has nothing to do with current events, and generally digitally de-tox before bed.
Everyone at Lesnevich, Marzano-Lesnevich, O’Cathain & O’Cathain, LLC, wishes you good mental and physical health during this pandemic.
All credit for the author photo goes to Shani Hadjian Photography