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 (71 votes)
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Submitted by kawa on Sun, 08/03/2020 - 12:43

speaking personally, it would be a new experience when trying this method, as most people are nowadays addicted to the cellphone, turning it on even without any necessity, and consequently, this costs a lot of time, especially when they screw over Facebook in their spare time. It is totally a waste of time. A cellphone is needed or useful just when we are waiting for something or somebody.

Submitted by Son Pham on Fri, 21/02/2020 - 15:24

Hello, The LearnEnglish Team, Please help me with the "advice" noun. Is both singular and plural form of it 'advice'? In the transcript, there are 2 sentences: 1) "and is here to give us some advice about it" 2) "That book gave me some really good advice". I'm not sure but I have ever seen "advices". Isn't, right? Hoping for your response. Thank you so much!

Hello Son Pham

'advice' is an uncount noun in these (and most) sentences. You're right that in most cases 'advice' is used this way; there are a few very specific specialised contexts where it can be plural, but in those cases it has a different meaning. You can see more about this in the dictionary entry I linked to.

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by lio_2028 on Wed, 29/01/2020 - 09:27

hi , is it right way to say from past time and still doing it ? i have already done this advises, and I am still doing it .

Hello lio_2028

Yes, you can use the present perfect ('I have already taken this advice') and then use the present continuous ('and I am still practising it') to indicate you started an action in the past and are still doing it in the present.

Well done!

All the best


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by armando on Wed, 29/01/2020 - 06:42

It's a good idea for so much people that surround me to got a detox, I always try to let the cellphone on the table everyday on evenings when my wife get at home
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Submitted by Rafaela1 on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 12:49

I'm not so immersed in online. I'm afraid that I don't need to do a digital detox at the mometn. ( ⁎ᵕᴗᵕ⁎ )

Submitted by Omer Gul on Mon, 20/01/2020 - 10:34

Dear English Language team, How often we should listen to the podcast before doing tasks 1 and 2. I listened two times and I did half of the exercise correctly.

Hello Omer Gul

That depends on what kind of learner you are, how difficult the page is compared to your level and many other factors. In general, I think listening two or three times is a good idea, but I would encourage you to experiment with different methods on different pages.

You could also consider listening a couple of times, then doing the exercises, then reading the transcript to check what you did in the exercises, and then finally checking the answers.

Best wishes


The LearnEnglish Team

Submitted by KHATEREH ZANDIYEH on Sat, 18/01/2020 - 10:23

Hello, why the answer sheet is not available? how to check the answers on whether or not they are correct? How to access the answers? please guide! thanks