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Digital Detox (Bite-sized Article)


Digital detox is the practice of consciously distancing oneself from electronic devices such as smartphones, computers, and tablets to aim for mental refreshment and improved concentration.

In recent years, the development of technology has increased the time people spend using digital devices such as computers and smartphones. According to data from DataReportal as of the time of writing this article, people spend an average of about 6 hours and 40 minutes online each day. Considering there are 24 hours in a day, this means spending more than a quarter of the day online, which is astonishing.

The use of digital devices undeniably makes work and life more comfortable and convenient, bringing various benefits to people's life. However, while technology is supposed to enrich people’s lives, excessive use of digital devices can lead to a range of disadvantages, including sleep and health disorders, impact on relationships, and decreased concentration.

This article will elaborate on effective practices for digital detox and its benefits.

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Benefits of Digital Detox

Let's summarize the main benefits of undergoing a digital detox.

1. Improved Concentration:

Intermittent use of digital devices disperses our attention. By undergoing a digital detox, it becomes easier to achieve a deep state of concentration, leading to improved productivity. For instance, when you are studying intently, do notifications from social media or emails on your smartphone tempt you to check your phone frequently? Even without notifications, the mere presence of a phone nearby might lead you to unconsciously reach for it. Detoxing by not keeping such devices near you or by not having them at all can help you concentrate better and immerse more deeply in your work.

2. Reduced Stress:

Excessive consumption of social media and news can lead to stress and anxiety. While it's easy to access a wealth of information updated daily on social media and news media, not all of it is necessary for you. Through digital detox, you can regain peace of mind.

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3. Improved Quality of Sleep:

The light from screens at night can impair the quality of sleep. Furthermore, addictive short videos, like those on TikTok, might seem ideal for passing time, but watching them before bed can excite the brain and lead to sleeplessness. Especially avoiding digital device use before bedtime can help achieve better sleep.

4. Enhanced Relationships:

While the use of digital devices, including social media, can provide opportunities to build relationships, there are also downsides. By limiting the use of digital devices, you can dedicate more time to direct human interactions. These interactions are likely to be more meaningful and enjoyable, fostering essential and significant communication.

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Practical Methods for Digital Detox

The specific methods of detoxing can vary and should be personally tailored. This article presents some practical methods and ideas as examples.

Regular Digital Fasting:

Set aside a specific time each week (for example, Sunday afternoons) as a time to not use digital devices. Use this time for non-digital activities such as reading, walking, or conversing with family and friends.

As an aside, I recently wrote an article inspired by the concept of Shabbat, titled "a day off every week as a complete off mode.". Establishing a habit of completely disconnecting regularly and combining it with digital detox could also be beneficial.

No Digital Device Use Before Bedtime:

Create a rule to forbid the use of smartphones or computers an hour before sleep. This can improve the quality of sleep.

Instead of using a smartphone during this time, engage in activities that help with relaxation, such as meditation or light reading.

Managing Notifications:

Turn off notifications for unnecessary apps and ensure that only important notifications are received. This reduces unnecessary distractions throughout the day. For those who find themselves checking their phone without notifications, turning off the device and placing it at the bottom of a bag can effectively keep it out of sight and mind.

Have a Non-Digital Hobby:

Paradoxically, having hobbies unrelated to digital technology, such as crafting, gardening, or sports, can naturally lead you to spend less time on digital devices.

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Limit Email and Social Media Checks:

Decide on specific times to check emails and social media (for example, morning, noon, and night) and refrain from logging in at other times.

Tip:Digital Detox at Kyoto Temples

I haven't personally tried it, but I heard a fascinating story from a friend. Known as Japan's ancient capital and a globally renowned tourist destination, Kyoto is home to temples offering unique services aimed at digital detox. These temples encourage visitors to temporarily distance themselves from electronic devices, fostering moments of mental peace and introspection.

At the Kyoto temples providing digital detox programs I heard about, participants hand over all their digital devices, such as smartphones and computers, to the staff upon application, making them inaccessible during their stay. They then engage in activities like meditation, copying sutras, and walking through Zen gardens for a period ranging from several days to weeks. The purpose of these activities is to calm the mind and liberate it from the hustle and bustle of daily life and stress.

Kyoto has long been recognized as the cultural and spiritual heart of Japan, with many temples and historical sites. For those seeking a digital detox, these temples offer a valuable opportunity to step away from the noise of modern society, face oneself, and regain peace and tranquility.

If you're considering a trip to Japan or if you're currently staying or living in Japan, why not give it a try?

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In this article, I briefly summarized the effects of digital detox as well as practical ideas and methods for implementing it.

Digital detox is an effective way to build a healthy relationship with technology and improve the quality of daily life.

It's important to start with small steps and gradually expand the scope of your practice. If this article has sparked your interest, I encourage you to try it out within your own limits.

Thank you for reading!

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