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 (72 votes)

Submitted by danielbacelar on Sun, 24/10/2021 - 20:33


In my last vacation, I stayed for one week a far beach without electricity.
My phone remained turned off all the time.
It was great!

Submitted by Suraj paliwal on Sun, 10/10/2021 - 18:21


No, I would not like digital detox.
I'm not using any social media app. I'm completely rid of this.

Submitted by Stela Stoycheva on Tue, 24/08/2021 - 22:35

I think I must to do digital detox, I waste too much time in facebook, I`m so happy because I don`t have instagram :D Really, I want to stop but I fell like obsessed from that :/ :( in that time which I spend there, I can improve my skills in many other things.
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Submitted by FrancktheDodger on Mon, 23/08/2021 - 18:43

I find that dependency from any kind of addiction is a restriction of our ability to live and think freely. Since I believe that freedom is often used in distorted ways, as synonym of transgression or nihilism, only by realizing in the end that we are dependent from an obsessive use of something such as devices and games and social media, digital detox is the first step to actually understand how much our horizons are going to be restricted without even being aware of that. So, a digital detox is a good method to comprehend our real situation and, on a regular base, I try to practice it.

Submitted by Abrarhussain on Wed, 18/08/2021 - 23:52

Yes I would like to do a digital detox.

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Sun, 11/07/2021 - 02:38

Hello, thank you for the lesson. However, I have a question. Here you go: Is it possible to say: "Anyways, more after the break" instead of "Anyway, more after the break"? Is anyways more used in American English?

Hello GiulianaAndy,

The most common form by far is 'anyway'.

'Anyways' is an informal version which is used in some dialects, particularly in the US, but which is considered non-standard by some people. I would avoid it in all but the most informal writing.



The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by GiulianaAndy on Sun, 11/07/2021 - 02:36

No, I wouldn't. I have to be in front of my device's screens every moment. In the morning I have my university classes, then in the afternoon I have to study English on my own, and finally before going to sleep I talk to a friend on messenger (she's helping me with my English speaking and I help her with her Spanish speaking) I aware I definitely need a digital detox. However, it is impossible for me to do that nowadays.
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 10/05/2021 - 13:35

I think I have some digital detoxicating enzyme... ;)

Submitted by In on Mon, 10/05/2021 - 10:41

Yes, I would love to do an intense detox. But is not always possible because of work. I try to be disconnected any time that I can.