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A digital detox podcast

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

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Transcripts

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. 

Discussion

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

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.

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.

Yes I would like to do a digital detox.

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.

 

Peter

The LearnEnglish Team

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.

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

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.

Yes, I like to do digital detox. Everyone should try to this and should spend time with family and myself. If you spend a lot of time on screen you ignore this beautiful world. Use degital detox and enjoying it.
Some people thinks that spend time on screen is for entertainment and avoid tension. But this is not true. Spend time on screen is not for entertainment and avoid tension. I suggest that everyone should adopt digital detox and do other activities such as Play football, cricket etc.and doing drawing.

Before, I was not spending so much time on my phone, but I went to live in another city for my studies, and to keep in touch with my friends and my family, I spent more and more time on my phone.
And now, the algorithm of applications like Instagram or Tik Tok are designed to push users to spend more and more time on the application.
Sometimes, I lose myself on YouTube, I lose my time instead of reading a book or drawing.
However, I think it is difficult to fix it: because of the pandemic, we must stay digitally connected, for our studies and to keep in contact with our friends and our family.
I would like to do a digital detox camp. A group of people goes to a forest, without phone, to do different activities such as meditation. It can be a good idea to return to the essential, with nature all around.

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