The first time I heard about digital detox I was curious… what does this mean? I need to be connected, otherwise my creativity will suffer. How can someone detox from the digital world? Is that even possible?
The short answer is yes you can detox from the digital world your creativity won’t suffer, pull the plug once in a while!
Of-course life is a bit longer, so here is the full story.
Real World Problems
The freelance life requires you to stay in touch with clients, research, tweak stuff, edit, fill forms, the list goes on forever. At the time, I was working long hours in front of a screen, so pulling the plug wasn’t an option.
Almost everything is done through a computer, so a digital detox was off the radar. My gadgets make the process easier, but they also help to create beautiful things. It’s funny, up to that point I didn’t realize how dependant on technology I was.
I love to work remotely; it gives me a sense of freedom. I don’t have to sit in a stuffy office repressing my true self for 8 hours. I can be myself, live on my own terms, and create from dawn till dusk. All thanks to the internet.
But there was a tiny problem, in order to create you need to live and for that to happen you have to put your gadgets aside and interact with the environment.
Now, It’s fine to read stories online, e-books, videos or podcasts are a great source of inspiration, but nothing is as rich as an adventure in the real world.
The world is full of sensations, you feel what’s going on with all your senses, you don’t use your imagination, it sparks your imagination, big difference.
It’s a User Life
The Independent tells, “92% of American teenagers are online”. And this trend is universal as mobile phones are used globally. Teenagers are a fraction of users, anyone who owns a phone is a potential consumer of all things digital.
We function through our devices, often unconsciously. As I said before being connected is part of my daily life, I’m online for most of the day. But do we really need to check the phone every 5 minutes? We don’t realise how often we do unnecessary things, habits are installed in our brains like apps in our phones.
The instant gratification loop makes us want more, and we have more. In the online world there are no limits, gratification is endless. You can have more and more.
I love to create content and research, so I also wanted more. More news about cool software, more editing tips, more work! The limitless resources we all have, amplify our quests.
Then, I realised more doesn’t mean good.
Ironically, switching off gave me more clarity. With clarity, more ideas came in. It was like an empty canvas ready for a splash of colours. I used it.
The detox, allowed me to not think for a day and explore the surroundings. I went to the countryside, walked along the fields without any urgency to do things. I used an entire day to reconnect with nature and with myself, everything else was off.
I went out without plans, the only idea was to enjoy the day. Contemplate the surroundings, and breathe fresh air.
This has had a tremendous impact on my work. I came back full of ideas, besides, I’m more focused on things that matter, which in turns gives me a sense of direction.
We’re constantly bombarded with advice of doing more, to become successful increase the hours you spend in your craft, you have to give 150% otherwise you’re going nowhere. I’m not sure about that, I think as long as you stay consistent, you can give yourself permission to do nothing for a day.
Your inner creativity will burst, the blank canvas will be there to experiment when you get back. And you’ll create, but this time with a fresh mind.
Are you struggling to regain focus? Have you ever tried a digital detox? Leave a comment in the comment section below.
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