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A digital detox podcast

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Transcripts

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. 

Discussion

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Language level

Upper intermediate: B2

Comments

That sounds like a great idea! I mean, everyone is more attentive to their devices than to their lifes with the family or friends. I confess I'm connected to three or four devices all the time because of my work, but I'd like to try this detox to improve my social interaction.

Yes, I would love it as I have to confess sometimes I am in front of a screen just unconsciously then I realize I am loosing time. I think it could be healthy to be disconnected a couple hours per day cause I think cellphones have become part of our body, an extension like your hand. I think it’s becoming a serious problem because vulnerable people such as children, young people or even adults are losing control and they are more interested on virtual world than real world.

personally, I always turn off my mobile data, whenever I have a job to be done. It is very annoying if you want to focus on your job and suddenly you get a call or notification that distracts you from your Study, job, or anything. Even if you let it so, you can't even stop thinking about what you have already got ( from whom you have got a message..etc.

nice idea. I did it too.

Totally agree with you

I´d love to do a digital detox after being connected eight hours a day because I work from home in remote. Once a month my family and I like going to the mountain to enjoy trekking. It´s important to me to breathe fresh air to clear my mind and not having distraction with the mobile, but it is really difficult if someone near you take out the mobile from the pocket when a buzzer sounds...I get very angry inmediately

For sure I'd like to do a digital detox, because being connected all the time is really stressing sometimes. Actually, I gave the first step to it by deactivating notifications in my cellphone mainly because I'm about to do a national exam at the end of this month to enter the college, and I started receiving a lot of media related to it, what makes me feel anxious.

Actually yes. Internet is such an amazing resource for everything but we don't usually make good use of it. In my case, I'm aware that I spend more time online than I should. I realize that I'm online for at least 8 hours daily. Once a week I switch off my mobile notifications but maybe that is not a real digital detox.

its bad if you are on your phone because your phone has a small screen and you can break your eyes its better if you go on a ipad or tv but be carful your eyes are fragile

I'd love to do it again as I have already done it for 10 days. I lived 10 days in a spiritual place without any screen or digital device, not even anything to write. Just surrounded by nature. That was a beautiful experience, I felt connected with my inner self and with nature for the first time.

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