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 (74 votes)
Do you need to improve your English listening skills?
Join thousands of learners from around the world who are improving their English listening skills with our online courses.

Submitted by Jadyr on Thu, 28/05/2020 - 18:12

I love being conneted in social networks, however when I am with my relatives barely I use my phone, but I have to admit that a weekend without devices, including laptop and Tv, it sounds interesting and I will try the next one

Submitted by Wen_Koala on Wed, 27/05/2020 - 23:46

As Amanda said I need to be very active online because of my work office, but I've tried to do so just in the working hours. Every day I start my work checking emails and projects al 8.30 am and finish at 6.30 pm. After that time, I don't connect on social media apps because I don't think it is a priority for my lifestyle. I prefer doing some exercise or listen to some music. Just in case, I'm bored waiting for the bus or stuck in the traffic jam, I check my social media.

Submitted by cadu on Sun, 24/05/2020 - 01:40

Hi, I think that try digital detox could be a good practice for all the people. We spend a lot of time in front the screens and is necessary stay focus for develop many activities. If the people is always connected, Get rest and sleep well could be a trouble. Is important give stepa by step and find a good scenario for each one.

Submitted by begumoz on Mon, 18/05/2020 - 00:23

I recognized to have an addicted using social media after listening the topic. I have decided change my habbit. Turning notfications off is a good advice. I will try first.

Submitted by grumpymelanja on Fri, 15/05/2020 - 17:16

I would, that would be a great experiment. Obviously- as a teenager I use my phone a lot. now because of coronavirus outbreak my whole school life happens online. after e-lessons i need to do my homework- also on my phone. it takes A LOT of time to actually be on the ball. I spend more time online than I used to before the pandemic. Now I go to city occasionally without my phone. And to be honest I surprised myslef when I realized that I forgot I dont have it! totally forgot about my phone lol. I guess when it became my duty i just got bored and tired of it haha and i won't deny- i do use my phone a lot also for fun. I watch videos, I look for inspirations, chat with people, or just surf the internet. Even more when I have to stay at home. it's not like i spend 247 on digital devices, but it is a part of I think everybody's life nowadays.

Submitted by Wura on Thu, 14/05/2020 - 20:00

I would definitely like a digital detox. I think I need it sometimes.

Submitted by Ahmadbassam on Wed, 13/05/2020 - 18:07

Yes, i would like to do a digital detox at least for one day evrey week. I think it is good to leave the devices for short time evrey week.

Submitted by BiankaB. on Fri, 08/05/2020 - 09:25

I would LOVE to do some digital detox. I am nowadays always at home (due to COVID), so my phone is always there for me, when I reach out my hand. I've found out that I am not able to focus on one activity without checking my phone, I am not even able to finish reading one book without starting reading another book. I have read an article, that our brain is little by little used to check various stuff by browsing Facebook or Instagram, but never staying on one, and this causes being not able to focus on one thing in everyday life. After listening this podcast, I decided to spend this weekend without internet. Wish me luck.:))
Profile picture for user OlaIELTS

Submitted by OlaIELTS on Fri, 01/05/2020 - 13:39

Yes. I would, even though am already used to it.

Submitted by theberriz on Wed, 29/04/2020 - 16:58

I think that making a digital detox could be a fun expirience, it could give me time to focuse on the people close to me that I have neglected because i was playing games or spending too much time on sosical media, maybe even talk to people i dont know instead of looking at my phone all day long.