I did a digital detox for one week from 8/24/2019 to 8/31/2019. My plan was towards the end of the detox I would head out to the Wilderness in Joshua Tree but I sprained my knee half-way through so just spent all my time in San Francisco.
My version of the digital detox meant no cell phone and no Internet for a week. I basically could not do any work, so took the week off, but unlike a vacation, I kept myself busy with reading, photography, Arabic language study, darkroom photo printing, and writing.
Here is what I read:
History of My Times, Xenophon (up to the part where Athens loses the Battle of Aegospotami and its aftermath),
Anabasis, Xenophon (a few passages in ancient Greek),
The Peloponnesian War, Thucydides (up to the 2nd Lacadaimonian Conference),
Lean Out, Marissa Orr,
Intermediate Perl, and
lots of photography books.
My days were spent going to the library, having lunch by the bay, photographing and then going to the darkroom to develop film or work on prints. If the darkroom was closed, I’d go to the library again for awhile and then head home.
Here are the benefits I noticed in me:
- vivid dreams each night,
- the urge to buy anything on-line was totally gone,
- no Internet induced anger by trolls or just the news headlines,
- more focus, and
- better moods.
Here is what sucked about the detox:
- more prone to afternoon naps, and
- periodic fits of boredom.
A digital detox makes real clear those areas of your life that you need to take back from the Internet. In my case, browsing online shopping sites and social media apps were the main areas to work on. It’s forced me to focus on shopping IRL as I did before Amazon, and doing photography the way I did before Instagram or Flickr. For anybody wanting to produce a significant body of work, this is an advantage.