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


Worksheet102.59 KB

Language level

Average: 4.2 (73 votes)

Submitted by Danatam on Wed, 02/12/2020 - 07:22

its bad if you are on your phone because your phone has a small screen and you can break your eyes its better if you go on a ipad or tv but be carful your eyes are fragile
Profile picture for user DJ Singh

Submitted by DJ Singh on Thu, 26/11/2020 - 07:11

I'd love to do it again as I have already done it for 10 days. I lived 10 days in a spiritual place without any screen or digital device, not even anything to write. Just surrounded by nature. That was a beautiful experience, I felt connected with my inner self and with nature for the first time.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes I would definitely want to.

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

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

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

I don't have a mobile phone, just laptop

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

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.