To start the year in a good way and in a good mood, we met up Coco Brac de la Perrière, author, disconnection/reconnection expert, mindfulness instructor giving us her best tips and advises to have a digital detox.
How do we know if we need a digital detox?
First of all, it is essential to realize the relationship we have with the digital world!
To quote Coco Brac de la Perrière in her book Everything’s Important But Nothing’s Serious, does your life measure 13 cm long and 6 cm wide?
If it does, then don’t worry! Just like 73% of French people in 2017, you have a smartphone, you’re connected to the internet, and therefore potentially “nomophobobic” – a 2.0 human suffering from “No Mobile Phone” phobia. Or perhaps you have FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out), terrified of missing a single morsel of news, the smallest notification, or any information from your social media “friends.”
To evaluate your addiction or dependence, first try to realize how much time you spend in front of your computer, television, or smartphone. Then compare it with the time you spend with real people.
What’s the answer?
Is it serious, Doctor?
Without being totally addicted, this “hyperconnection” can have negative effects on our mental health such as less human interaction, loss of sleep, impaired concentration, less perspective, and more stress. As for our physical health, it can cause back pain and problems with vision due to the blue light of screens. Then there is the overall, gradual, and insidious isolation while remaining “connected,” without mentioning everything that happens in the world of work…
At the office
It is slowly becoming accepted that employees should not only reply to messages while at work, but also while on their own time. This has created a blurring of personal and professional lives.
The psychosocial risks are very real, and the 24/7 availability of employees will only become the norm at the cost of an alarming deterioration in workplace atmosphere and conditions.
The dictatorship of time, impossible deadlines, and “infobesity” can lean to a burnout – the next leading illness of our times.
How do we start a digital detox?
Realizing the extent of our dependence on screens and learning about the consequences (on our vision, health, heart rate, emotions, relationships, sex life, etc.) enables us to decide to change our lifestyles. We can then take measures that will shake up how we are with ourselves and others.
1/Sort through your smartphone to make your mind tidier.
We should first get rid of as much sensory pollution as possible. This includes flashing lights for notifications and beeps when we receive messages.
This will end our slavery to notifications. You can eliminate at least 50% of them over a week.
Then sort through the apps you only use once a year, the ones that make you feel bad, the mind-numbing games, and the ones you downloaded for no reason.
2/Indulge in a digital detox meditation session.
After working out the extent to which you depend on screens and feeling the benefits of this realization, I suggest a “digital detox” meditation session using the Petit Bambou app. A 15-minute session will help you disconnect and make time for you (and only you).
This neologism is from “phone” and “snubbing.” “Phubbing” is the (unfortunately increasingly common) act of ignoring people around you by looking at your phone instead of communicating with them.
4/Create a Wi-Fi-free zone at the office and in your home.
After all, it’s good to have a little fun while you try to return to a more balanced digital relationship. At home, for example, you can ban all digital devices in the kitchen. This can be your “Wi-Fi-Free Zone” for the week.
So far, so good? Then why not make the leap and put down your smartphone?
Prepare yourself a mug of Detox tea by Kusmi and leave your telephone for a whole day. You can put it in a cupboard, for example! You may feel physical withdrawal, and even imagine vibrations in your hand or pocket. To help, you can create an automatic reply such as “Hello, I am present and disconnected at the moment. I will be unable to reply until tomorrow. Thank you for your understanding.” You’ll see, you’ll enjoy it faster than you may think!
And if you find it too hard to accomplish alone, you can join Coco Brac de la Perrière for her digital breaks, digital detox sessions, and personal journeys – all telephone-free. Visit www.cocobracdelaperriere.com to find out more.