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. 

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


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


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


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

Submitted by J1927n on Mon, 26/02/2024 - 20:00


I definitely need a detox since I work from home and I do not have too much time to avoid devices like my cellphone. I mean, I work with my computer and I am very often checking on my phone. I just relax a little bit more on weekends, but not the rest of days. Then, yes, I would like to do a tedox and feel free about those devices.

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Submitted by alessandro.it on Thu, 15/02/2024 - 08:53


I don't think I need a digital detox at the moment. In fact, even if I use digital devices almost every day both for studying or working or e-learning, at the same time I try and do other activities like going out for a walk or go to the swimming pool, leaving intentionally my smartphone at home. To avoid distractions when I am at home, I leave my phone in another room and sometimes I turn off alerts or buzzes. I believe that for people like Amanda, who are many hours in front of the screens, digital detox is a very good thing. However, it is important to find other activities like cooking, reading a book, etc. that give us some gratifications, even with some effort, and make us to say to prefer to do them rather than being on the internet or social networks all the time.

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Submitted by JerryKhaing on Sat, 03/02/2024 - 06:36


I really would like to try a digital detox because I have found out myself I have been to many time using social media and I admit that I am additive to it so I wanna try to remove that habit

Submitted by bilal.ojaily on Tue, 02/01/2024 - 15:38


HOW AMANDA SAID "First, my *partner* and I did a weekend with absolutely no screens. *She* found it easier than I did."
Is she a lesbian? or what ?
her partner is female also, is not ?
I did not understand it, could any one explain what please ?

Hello bilal.ojaily,

Yes, Amanda's partner is a woman, so it's reasonable to assume she is lesbian.

Best wishes,
LearnEnglish team

Submitted by amroelwan.com on Mon, 04/12/2023 - 18:30


I would like to do a digital detox because I think that we should take a break from phones and also ask ourselves why we are using the phone anyway

Submitted by just_meee on Mon, 25/09/2023 - 20:41


I really should give it a shot. I'm definitely a social media addict. Of course, I use my devices for studying and stuff, but mostly doomscroll anyway. I think I might be afraid of being bored if I don't check Instagram or YouTube constantly, but I actually have some things I've wanted to do for a while, the ones that don't require using my devices, but haven't yet. I'll try doing digital detox on weekends.