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.

Preparation

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. 

Task 1

Task 2

Discussion

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Submitted by Arisa on Sat, 13/07/2024 - 00:20

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I believe a digital detox is an excellent way to reset and reconnect with the world around us. It offers a chance to reduce stress, improve mental clarity, and foster more meaningful face-to-face interactions. However, I recognize that this approach may not be easy for everyone, particularly for those like Amanda, who spend hours on the internet due to their job requirements.

For people in such situations, a complete digital detox might be impractical. Instead, incorporating small changes, such as setting boundaries for work-related internet use and scheduling regular breaks away from screens, could be more feasible. Finding a balance between necessary digital engagement and mindful disconnection is key.

Personally, I would like to try a digital detox. I see it as an opportunity to break free from the constant barrage of notifications and information overload. By doing so, I hope to enhance my focus, creativity, and overall well-being. Even a partial detox, where I limit my screen time in the evenings or on weekends, could provide significant benefits. Btw, I like the idea of asking ourselves why should we check our phones.

Submitted by joseg1037 on Thu, 11/07/2024 - 05:58

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Yes, I would like to do a digital detox mostly because of the fact that you could get an eye strain after so many hours of both focusing so near and constantly looking at devices with some level of screen brightness. 

The other fact that I would like to mention is that you could get physiological problems related to the postures when using digital devices if you do not look after your body, e.g., are you moving enough or keeping a good posture and having moments to relax the postures?

One more thing to consider is that these points should be considered periodically and not every week or two days but every day.

Submitted by MarcoSg24 on Sun, 07/07/2024 - 19:50

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I certainly want to take a Digital Detox. 
Just recently I´ve been feeling like I´m using my phone and other devices a lot. This has motivated me a little bit to go out of my house and see the sky and the city for a few minutes, but I definitely would want to try a weekend detox. 

Submitted by justphongnguyen on Mon, 01/07/2024 - 09:26

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Your Original Paragraph:

In my opinion, if digital detox means absolutely not using any digital devices, we shouldn't do it. Let me make it clear, comparing to stop using phone, laptop or something like that; finding a balance point where we use those devices for good purposes and aren't in front of the screen at the same time is better. However, I believe trying to shut down everything is easier than avoiding wasting time on screen when we're surrounded by distracting stuff. Therefore, each person had better choose the way that is suitable for them: if you're strong and able to take control of yourself, you can still using digital devices and also enjoy the real world, not a big deal (it's so amazing); if not you may put yourself in a free-digital environment. Be happy with your choice and life!

Revised Paragraph:

In my opinion, if digital detox means absolutely not using any digital devices, we shouldn't do it. Let me clarify: instead of completely stopping the use of phones, laptops, or similar devices, it is better to find a balance where we use these devices for good purposes and avoid excessive screen time. However, I believe that shutting down everything is easier than avoiding wasting time on screens when we're surrounded by distractions. Therefore, each person should choose the method that suits them best: if you're strong and able to control yourself, you can still use digital devices and enjoy the real world (it's amazing); if not, you may benefit from a digital-free environment. Be happy with your choice and life!

(These are my paragraph and the one revised by ChatGPT. I find that I made some word usage mistakes, but my grammar is quite good. I hope to improve every day!)

Submitted by TanyaPonomareva on Tue, 11/06/2024 - 09:24

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We live in a digital world, and of course a digital detox can be a great way to recharge and reduce stress. I really would like to try the digital detox. Going on digital detox doesn’t mean you need to give up technology forever. I use laptop, smartphone from Monday to Friday, on weekends, I want to use my smartphone less and spend more time with friends and my family.


 


 

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Submitted by elia_sol0. on Thu, 06/06/2024 - 21:56

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 Would you like to do a digital detox?

Now that I think about it, it doesn't sound like a bad idea. I spend most of my time on social media instead of interacting and connecting with people in real life. My average screen time can be up to 6 hours, so it has become a habit I would like to break. Ever since the pandemic, anxiety and depression have been increasing in younger generations, probably because of the prevalence of smartphones. I think everyone could use a digital detox.

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Submitted by Guilherme Falcão on Sun, 02/06/2024 - 20:59

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I spend a few hours a day in front of the computer, smartphone, tablet and television. My personal strategy has been to find something useful to do while using these devices. Sometimes I attend classes, read books, listen to podcasts related to my work, news, mental health... But the most important thing is to keep the devices away from me while I really need to focus on something that doesn't need to be done in front of screens, like talking to family and friends, running in the park and training at the gym. We can be sure that if the device is on our sight, we will see something stupid on the screen and waste a few minutes that could be better spent on another activity.

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Submitted by Libra23 on Thu, 23/05/2024 - 16:44

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Well, first of all I listened this type of argument (the digital detox) in some podcasts and tv programs. 

I have to admit the important to talk about that, in particular among the youngest, so children and teenagers, because they spend/waste a lot of their time with a smartphone between their hands.

Scientists recommend the important to avoid children and teenagers use digital devices during the day too much, because at the end it become like a drug and it’ll have a negative impact on their behaviour and conduct.

I don’t agree with the expression “digital detox” because it wouldn’t be necessary taking a pause from the use of devices if the use was reasonable, but it would like to say understanding the ethical and correct use of digital devices.

Submitted by Suzenne on Wed, 03/04/2024 - 15:59

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I believe that in some cases a digital detox is necessary to have a healthy life, mainly when you spend most of your time in front of a screen. Social media could be addicting when we don’t control or monitor your use in daily lives. Amanda did something radical and I believe that this kind of approach is not for everybody, but I understand the strategy: sometimes it is better to cut out everything at once. We should try to make some changes in our routines to avoid the excess of digital notifications, because sometimes we are not paying attention to what is really important for us: family, friends and health.

Submitted by Lmcardenasc on Sat, 30/03/2024 - 23:41

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I guess no, but it is because, actually, I don´t have many notifications, despite I have a home office job.