A digital detox podcast

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.



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. 

Task 1

Task 2


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Average: 4.2 (74 votes)
Profile picture for user Elena Ivgha

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

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

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

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

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

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

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,


The LearnEnglish Team

Profile picture for user Hennadii

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

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

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