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On January 1st, I started a Digital Detox Challenge. If you have not heard about it, click here to check out the challenge page.
Over the last four weeks, I have learned a great deal about myself and my habits.
Here is a glimpse into my pre-challenge phone usage:
When the phone buzzes, I automatically pick it up to see who texted or which app is sending me a notification.
When nap time comes and I have a moment to myself, I don’t take the intentional break that this introverted mom needs. Instead I find myself scrolling through social media.
Post-challenge, I have found my mornings to be more productive, I am spending more distraction-free quality time with my son, and I have started to read more again (both the Bible and other books)
If you also decide to take the challenge, here are three tips for a successful digital detox.
1. Buy an Alarm Clock
My subscribers already heard this story, but I grabbed my phone to check social media immediately after waking up the first morning of the challenge. Seriously, I broke the rules on the very first morning. If you decide to spend some phone free time in the morning, buy a real alarm clock. This helps to break your habit of touching your phone as the first thing you do each day.
2. Find Accountability
Tell your spouse or a friend about the challenge. Let them know what your rules are each week, so they can hold you accountable to your goals. Better yet, have them take the challenge with you! If no one knows what you are doing or trying to change, it will be easier to slip into bad habits again. You can also look into an app (I know, I know, but some of us need baby steps) like Forest that turns staying away from your phone into a game!
3. Remind Yourself of the “Why”
Do you want to saturate yourself with the Word each morning instead of scrolling through social media? Do you want to demonstrate healthy media and technology habits for your children? Do you wish to focus on Christ during your day and not find yourself constantly distracted by notifications? Write these things down! Tape these reminders to your phone or places you commonly use your phone. In the Digital Detox Challenge, I’ve included printable Bible verses for you to meditate on as well. Take time to memorize these and meditate on them when you are tempted to go back to your old habits.
Bonus Tip! – Pray Always
I talk frequently about our need to rely on the Holy Spirit. If you struggle with excessive phone use, you also need to pray diligently that He would turn your desires toward truth (Psalm 51:6; Philippians 4:8). Pray that He would give you the strength to be a diligent worker (Colossians 3:23-24; 2 Timothy 2:15) and not prone to idleness (2 Thessalonians 3:6-12). Pray for a grateful and content heart (Philippians 4:11-13; Hebrews 13:5-6), not one always looking with longing and jealousy at other’s lives (hello Insta!).
What Do You Think?
Do you struggle with excessive phone, social media, or technology use? Have you ever done a digital detox challenge? If so, what tips would you add?