A digital detox podcast

Listen to the podcast about doing a digital detox to practise and improve your listening skills.

Do the preparation task first. Then listen to the audio and do the exercises.

Transcript

Presenter: So, we're back in the studio. Welcome back, everyone. My name's Rick Walker. From our laptops to our televisions, from the displays on our smartphones to those on our satnavs, we are in front of screens all the time. Have you ever wondered what it would be like to disconnect completely? To choose not to have access to the internet? If you have, you may be in need of a digital detox – a total switch-off from all things digital. The idea of people taking a digital detox is becoming more and more popular, especially amongst young people – and today we're joined by someone who's tried a number of digital detox activities and is here to give us some advice about it. Amanda Vince, welcome to the studio.

Amanda: Thank you very much.

Presenter: So, Amanda, you work for a fashion magazine in London, right? I guess your work means you need to be online a lot.

Amanda: Oh, yes. Apart from the hundreds of emails I get every day, I'm always browsing fashion websites, as well as online videos. I also need to be very active online, especially on Twitter and Instagram – sharing what we're doing in the magazine, interacting with designers, photographers, influencers … it never stops, literally. Then of course there's my friends and family to keep in touch with online too, and for me, my work grew out of my passion, so friends and work colleagues aren't two totally separate groups of people and it all gets a bit messy online sometimes. I think I'm online for at least 12 hours a day.

Presenter: So, how did you get the idea for a digital detox?

Amanda: I read a book about it, called Log Off: How to Stay Connected after Disconnecting. The author's name is Blake Snow. That book gave me some really good advice and made me think about trying to change some of my digital habits. I started with removing distraction.

Presenter: What do you mean by that?

Amanda: That means turning off alerts, buzzes, alarms or notifications of any kind. I had notifications set up for everything, and it meant I was always being forced to look at my phone. Removing all of them except for important contacts helped me focus immediately. The book also made a really good point, that we should ask ourselves 'Why?' every time we take out our phone. I realised that most of the times I looked at my phone were because I was trying to avoid or ignore something else happening right in front of me. It was an automatic habit.

Presenter: I have to confess, that happens to me too. But what else are you going to do when you're standing in line at the bank or waiting for your train?

Amanda: OK, yes, I'm the first to admit that it's great for helping time go by. But speaking personally, I found I wasn't just checking my phone to kill time when I was alone. I was also doing it with friends or family around.

Presenter: Hmmm … right. Well, so far, this doesn't sound too drastic. Turning off notifications and becoming aware of when we use our devices. That sounds easy.

Amanda: Yes, it's the first step. Once we begin to realise just how much of a grip our devices have on us, then we're ready to really take the next step. First, my partner and I did a weekend with absolutely no screens. She found it easier than I did. For me, it was a little bit scary at first but it turned out to be a pretty rewarding experience.

Presenter: A whole weekend, huh? I don't know if I could ...

Amanda: I think everyone has to do this at their own pace. If a weekend feels too much, maybe just try for an evening. Then work your way up to more. I guarantee, once you've tried it, you'll want to try it again. We're going to try for a whole week in the summer.

Presenter: OK, let's pause there then and see what our listeners have to say. You can call us here directly, or send us a message on any of our social media channels ... oops, should I be saying that? Anyway, more after the break. 

Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.

Discussion

Download
Worksheet102.59 KB

Submitted by Asni on Sat, 21/11/2020 - 22:56

Permalink
Yes, I'd love to but I'm not sure if I could do that...I became addicted to screens, if it is not watching TV, then it is the laptop, tablet or phone. In the past, people used to listen to the radio, and by the term 'radio' I mean that very simple gadget with no screen, only buttons to play and pause, now it turns out that even for that we use some kind of digital devices. I ve already tried it for a short time, like an evening or even a whole day, but I can't disconnect for more than that because I live abroad far from my family, and we need to hear from each other regularly, a simple message like 'hello, everything is fine' is sometimes enough to avoid worry.
Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 12:18

Permalink
I'd like to do a chocolate detox... ;)
Profile picture for user Rafaela1

Submitted by Rafaela1 on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 12:16

Permalink
I'd like to sweets detox... ;)

Submitted by Aqilah khurshed on Fri, 20/11/2020 - 04:59

Permalink
Yes I would definitely want to.

Submitted by loveiseverything on Wed, 18/11/2020 - 08:56

Permalink
My life is full of digital tox. I have to work in front of the computer from 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday, sometimes Monday to Saturday. And then, I play my smartphone after work until 00:00 everyday. On weekends, I play smartphone all the time even when I am eating until I go to sleep in 00:00. I will be dead if I don't do a digital detox. My life is too crazy...
Profile picture for user javibuendi

Submitted by javibuendi on Wed, 11/11/2020 - 10:00

Permalink
Yes, I would definitely like. I spend about 7 hours per day in front of a screen. Some of them are mandatory due to they are study hours, but the other ones are expendable. I think I should change my habit because my eyes are getting tired more and more. I began by putting my phone in silent mode and I should continue by stopping using the phone from certain hours, such as 21 p.m. Cheers from Madrid.

Submitted by semoha on Sun, 08/11/2020 - 10:13

Permalink
I don't have a mobile phone, just laptop

Submitted by Ventola on Tue, 27/10/2020 - 08:41

Permalink
Actually I do it from time to time. Usually, I switch off the internet and stay accessible only for calls, which means who really need me they can call me.

Submitted by vsanchez75 on Mon, 26/10/2020 - 13:59

Permalink
A personal goal is detox of social media, three months ago I disconected fo facebook by one month and I can say it was so relax, I could connected with another things and it helped me because i did many things wich I postponed, I will do it again

Submitted by Echo1 on Sat, 24/10/2020 - 07:54

Permalink
Definitely. In my work as a teacher, we have completely transformed from the face-to-face interaction into an online platform, I find that I spend most of my day in front of the screen to prepare for my lecture, to deliver them, attend meetings and accomplish other tasks, which take up to 10 hours of my day. After that, in the evening, I feel the need to catch up with my social media updates, communicate with my friends and watch movies or series before I sleep. So in totality, I am in front of my screen the entire time I am awake. This is something I really want to change from my daily activities. I want to take a break from my screens because I really think that this will have a negative impact on my health sooner or later.

Submitted by booknerd on Thu, 22/10/2020 - 15:56

Permalink
Yes. I have tried digital detox alot of times and it's been a wonderful experience.

Submitted by Ugulhan on Wed, 21/10/2020 - 16:08

Permalink
I have read the text, and honestly, I haven't understood what can be a digital detox. I looked at other comments then I have gradually caught the meaning of the context. I would like to say the internet is being a part of our life, but I feel also that it is not good 24 hours to be on the internet seeing as the physical movement of people would be shrunk. Even, our mobile phones are connected to the internet and every one of us is dedicated our time to them. We have been killing our time with it. It seems to be involving unnecessary things. I would also turn off my notifications on my mobile phone. However, it would be automatic appearing some alerts such as buzz, throughout it will be news. As a digital detox, can we add also what's up the apple program of our mobile phone? I am saying because of turning off it.

Submitted by habibao.medo on Mon, 19/10/2020 - 12:19

Permalink
i don't think i am ready to do digital detox now but maybe in the future who knows
Profile picture for user danisep

Submitted by danisep on Sat, 17/10/2020 - 00:03

Permalink
I wouldn't like to do a digital detox because when I turn off my phone notifications, I really forget my phone, sometimes when work turns too bored I take it to watch my instagram and stuffs, but I think I can keep under control by other hand I always using my computer to study or work so I need it, maybe leave all those screens behind and take some vacations, use just and old phone just to receive calls and forget all technology for a while.
Profile picture for user Elena Ivgha

Submitted by Elena Ivgha on Tue, 13/10/2020 - 10:10

Permalink
I would like to do a digital detox, but I realised that I was definitely addicted to social networks. I checked Instagram million times per day and it really never ended. The only thing I did, I switched off all notifications and buzzes on my device. It really helped me to keep my mind on my work.

Submitted by Estenglish on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 20:37

Permalink
My girlfriend is always saying me I have a problem with Twitter and, despite I never admit her, I think she is rigth and I have tried to disconnect sometimes. My best score is 2 days without this app on my phone. I always think I just like and enjoy that.

Submitted by Cami on Tue, 06/10/2020 - 10:20

Permalink
I’d like to do it, even if I think that I’m not too affected by digital things. I study quite all day in front of books and I try not to be too more distracted from my phone.

Submitted by Chiara99 on Thu, 01/10/2020 - 19:06

Permalink
Yes, I would like to do a digital detox, but i think it'll would be very difficult at the beginning. I usually use my phone from the morning until the evening to hear my friends and I'm used to watching tv series on computer. It sound terrible stay even just a day without connections. Maybe (one day) I will try.

Submitted by mcambindo22 on Mon, 28/09/2020 - 23:54

Permalink
Yes, I’d like to do a digital detox because nowadays people have turned in technology-aholic, and sometimes it’s could be a tricky situation that can affect your personal life, hence it will be interesting come back for a short period of time to the past and living as whether wouldn’t have had technology or some digital change. Technology represented important changes in our lives but also it is important keeping yourself in control.

Submitted by marciacriollo on Wed, 09/09/2020 - 12:51

Permalink
The audio in the podcast is not working, Does anybody know why?

Hi marciacriollo,

Sorry to hear that the audio is not working :(

I've just tested it on my computer, and it's working for me. It may have been a temporary problem.

Is the audio still not working for you? If it's not working, is it only this audio, or are other audios in the Listening section also not working?

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Hennadii

Submitted by Hennadii on Mon, 31/08/2020 - 16:19

Permalink
Definitely. The digital detox is what I need sometimes. I have to admit I spend a lot of time in front of screens of my laptop, desktop, and smartphone. Ok, I need my computer to learn English, Polish, and programming at home. You can't learn anything without the internet nowadays. I spent several hours every day studying. But, I also look at my screen (mostly smartphone) without any reason. I don't know why. It's a kind of a bad habit now, you always feel you need to check something on your phone: some new notifications or a newsfeed on Facebook or Tweeter or other social networks. And it's not something you can't live without just another bad habit like smoking or swearing. Sometimes I tell myself to reduce my online time but with the mixed result so far, if the truth to be told ;) Maybe I need to read a good motivating book or find a new passion to take up my time to avoid gadgets. I don't know what else to say about that ... maybe I should check my Facebook to fill this awkward pause ))

Submitted by Tania Jrz A on Wed, 19/08/2020 - 03:59

Permalink
I would definitely love it, I have done it before, sometimes it's difficult but you realize there are so many better and real reasons to put attention to your world that you find it easier, it's like if you lived more :D

Submitted by Nubis on Sun, 19/07/2020 - 03:20

Permalink
Unfortunately, all our generations is contaminated of this.where will we go?
Profile picture for user Simonida Vukobrat

Submitted by Simonida Vukobrat on Thu, 09/07/2020 - 00:57

Permalink
Of course I would! I am already doing that every summer - reading books and swimming instead of surfing on the net!

Submitted by Marci_95 on Mon, 22/06/2020 - 16:24

Permalink
I think that it's really important to take a break from our devices. During this lockdown, we have spent a lot of time in front of all screens, it was a good opportunity to stay in touch with far friends or family, but I used this time to switch off my phone, tv and social in order to get more spare time for my passions. And it was incredible because I felt that I was in the right way. I had time for myself. Of course, we were closed at home, but the hours flew away. I missed that. Right now, I come back to normal life, but I turn off all notifications from my phone and I tried to use social less to keep on my personal projects.

Submitted by Mennatallah on Thu, 11/06/2020 - 09:19

Permalink
Yes, I do. it's a great idea too me, i set long time on the screens.

Submitted by nona nasr on Wed, 10/06/2020 - 20:47

Permalink
For me ,actually i don’t need to do digital detox because I can control myself and realize how much time I spend using my phone, I connect to social media only when I have free time otherwise I have to do many other useful things such learning English , reading books and doing exercises

Submitted by Adri on Tue, 09/06/2020 - 14:10

Permalink
Honestly, after the COVID-19 situation, right now I think that everybody need the internet for work and study, follow an online class of University or school and also for we are conecting and speak with our family. Although, is true that we need a little time for ourselves and disconecting telephone or laptop or television.

Submitted by pmnobre on Mon, 08/06/2020 - 22:33

Permalink
I think that the most important is to have a balance between digital and the off-screen life. I don't believe that access to anything is good and that accessing too much is good either. Balance is the order in this subject.

Submitted by Janey on Sat, 06/06/2020 - 13:44

Permalink
Honestly, the digital device is one of the most important elements to support my life. After working hard, I like searching for websites to watch funny videos and using social media to relax. I always set an exact time alert on using social media. It helps me not spend too much time relaxing and can return my work easily. Moreover, I can live without using kinds of social media the whole day or the whole week, because I can read books or do other works instead of using social media. Therefore, I recognized that I'm not a person addicted to social media.

Submitted by juju19 on Fri, 05/06/2020 - 21:23

Permalink
I think digital detox is very good for a lot of people. I try to practice this, because I think it's better to focus on important things, because I don't spend a lot of time using social medias. Now, with coronavirus we use the internet all the time, to watch classes, study, talk to our friends and family, but I turned off my notifications, and I'm trying to use the internet just for this things, and not losing time seeing social medias. I used to be a little addicted in social medias and it was't good for me, because it was difficult to stop and do my schedules. But I believe that each person should decide what is better, because a lot of people don't feel that social media is bad for concentration.

Submitted by Jadyr on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 18:12

Permalink
I love being conneted in social networks, however when I am with my relatives barely I use my phone, but I have to admit that a weekend without devices, including laptop and Tv, it sounds interesting and I will try the next one

Submitted by Wen_Koala on Wed, 27/05/2020 - 23:46

Permalink
As Amanda said I need to be very active online because of my work office, but I've tried to do so just in the working hours. Every day I start my work checking emails and projects al 8.30 am and finish at 6.30 pm. After that time, I don't connect on social media apps because I don't think it is a priority for my lifestyle. I prefer doing some exercise or listen to some music. Just in case, I'm bored waiting for the bus or stuck in the traffic jam, I check my social media.

Submitted by cadu on Sun, 24/05/2020 - 01:40

Permalink
Hi, I think that try digital detox could be a good practice for all the people. We spend a lot of time in front the screens and is necessary stay focus for develop many activities. If the people is always connected, Get rest and sleep well could be a trouble. Is important give stepa by step and find a good scenario for each one.

Submitted by begumoz on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 00:23

Permalink
I recognized to have an addicted using social media after listening the topic. I have decided change my habbit. Turning notfications off is a good advice. I will try first.

Submitted by grumpymelanja on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 17:16

Permalink
I would, that would be a great experiment. Obviously- as a teenager I use my phone a lot. now because of coronavirus outbreak my whole school life happens online. after e-lessons i need to do my homework- also on my phone. it takes A LOT of time to actually be on the ball. I spend more time online than I used to before the pandemic. Now I go to city occasionally without my phone. And to be honest I surprised myslef when I realized that I forgot I dont have it! totally forgot about my phone lol. I guess when it became my duty i just got bored and tired of it haha and i won't deny- i do use my phone a lot also for fun. I watch videos, I look for inspirations, chat with people, or just surf the internet. Even more when I have to stay at home. it's not like i spend 247 on digital devices, but it is a part of I think everybody's life nowadays.

Submitted by Wura on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 20:00

Permalink
I would definitely like a digital detox. I think I need it sometimes.

Submitted by Ahmadbassam on Wed, 13/05/2020 - 18:07

Permalink
Yes, i would like to do a digital detox at least for one day evrey week. I think it is good to leave the devices for short time evrey week.

Submitted by BiankaB. on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 09:25

Permalink
I would LOVE to do some digital detox. I am nowadays always at home (due to COVID), so my phone is always there for me, when I reach out my hand. I've found out that I am not able to focus on one activity without checking my phone, I am not even able to finish reading one book without starting reading another book. I have read an article, that our brain is little by little used to check various stuff by browsing Facebook or Instagram, but never staying on one, and this causes being not able to focus on one thing in everyday life. After listening this podcast, I decided to spend this weekend without internet. Wish me luck.:))
Profile picture for user OlaIELTS

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 13:39

Permalink
Yes. I would, even though am already used to it.

Submitted by theberriz on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 16:58

Permalink
I think that making a digital detox could be a fun expirience, it could give me time to focuse on the people close to me that I have neglected because i was playing games or spending too much time on sosical media, maybe even talk to people i dont know instead of looking at my phone all day long.

Submitted by yoyoraw on Fri, 24/04/2020 - 19:26

Permalink
Certainly, I would like to try this one day with a friend. I think it would be a great change for my life since I am always using my phone and I really hate this habit of mine . hi do you think putting a coma in the second sentence is necessary

Hi yoyoraw,

I don't think a comma is essential, but I think it would help to make the sentence easier to read and would improve the style. You could put a comma between life and since, or between phone and and.

Commas are often used in this way. They help to break up the sentence and guide the reader as to where the sense units are. In speech we do this with pauses and changes of tone. On the page we use punctuation to achieve it.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by WONDER on Sat, 18/04/2020 - 15:44

Permalink
I really don't use social media a lot, such as Facebook, Whatsapp, so on. However, I get annoyed when people are chatting while I am saying something and I have to say the same again and again because their mobile phones distract them. I think that their mobile phones is controlling people.

Submitted by jazmin marquez on Wed, 15/04/2020 - 12:00

Permalink
Well, I think the Internet gives us several opportunities to learn all the time, but I also think that we have become superficial and instead of using all these amazing tools, we only spend hour after hour on social media. In this way, I would like to do a digital detox from social media, but not from other websites.

Submitted by TDP on Fri, 27/03/2020 - 08:38

Permalink
I am a 47-year-old language teacher who lives in Belgium and I have always been a great fan of the unlimited possibilities the internet offers. After two decades, however, I have found that way too much time is spent on getting where you actually want to be. To be more precise, finding an exercise like the detox listening skill offered here - which is a high-quality exercise indeed- is offset by so much time of ploughing through low-quality material and endless button-clicking. And because that is so tiresome the possibility of disconnecting once in a while seems a very luring one indeed. Anyways, I am going to pass this exercise onto my pupils, because it will be a boost to their listening skills.