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 pSav on Sat, 24/12/2022 - 09:14


The girl speaking in this audio is right. I have noticed that 90% of the time spent using my phone isn't really for doing anything important or productive except staying on social media, chatting with friends and playing videogames.

Submitted by RashidJam on Sat, 05/11/2022 - 11:46


Good topic.
I already stopped all notifications except sms and notifications related to my work.
Also I unsubscribed from some social media!
Now I have time to enjoy more with my familial and to practice more activities (sport and learning english) :)

Submitted by NurD on Sun, 18/09/2022 - 20:54


Yes, I would like to do a digital detox. However, I really use social media a lot to keep in touch with my family and friends. Still, I want to try it for a few hours, at least.

Submitted by ZackTheBilingual on Tue, 06/09/2022 - 17:50


To do a digital detox once in a while is a good thing, both for your mental and physical health. Spending time with family and friends should be the priority. Personally, I don't spend too much time on social media but I feel more alive when I am amongst other people rather than scrolling through my feed.

Submitted by mamalirezaenglish on Tue, 16/08/2022 - 13:34


I'm a digital marketer and unfortunately I cannot do digital detox too much. beside of that I work remotely, so I have to be online all the time to check the tasks with my teammates.

I usually try to not look at screen for 25 minutes after 2 hours of work, so that give a rest to my eyes and mind.

Submitted by Heba Elgharbawy on Thu, 28/07/2022 - 20:36


Actually, yes, it is amazing to disconnect with all social media apps , we are in a huge revolution of modern technology, and off course, it facilitate our missions but on the contrary, we need to move forward the peace of mind and creativity, which in fact all these apps through social media, in real , it is considered as a social isolation as every one is in front of his /her screen , and family and friends relation are not as the same before, it is not a real world , it just a mean . so it should be as a slogan to return back to our nature which is full of warms and feelings , fulfillment, in fact we have lost the taste of the old things, we have used to.

Submitted by shaymaaatef on Fri, 15/07/2022 - 01:01


Absolutely yes , I reckon that social media apps do occupy a significant part of our time , and nothing remain after surfing them . It's like a digital habit . We need to learn how to manage our time.

Submitted by Ehsan on Wed, 13/07/2022 - 05:49


I do that differently. I check WhatsApp and Instagram three time in a day. each time it takes a few minutes. I try to spend my free times with usefully thing such as studying a book or a article.

Submitted by alexiamontes2004 on Fri, 01/07/2022 - 01:50


Would you like to do a digital detox?

The truth is that I would really like it, I think it would allow me to help my physical and mental health, since I use my technological devices too much, such as my telephone and computer, and this would help me a lot to get rid of technology.