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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

Yes, I'd love to but I'm not sure if I could do that...I became addicted to screens, if it is not watching TV, then it is the laptop, tablet or phone. In the past, people used to listen to the radio, and by the term 'radio' I mean that very simple gadget with no screen, only buttons to play and pause, now it turns out that even for that we use some kind of digital devices. I ve already tried it for a short time, like an evening or even a whole day, but I can't disconnect for more than that because I live abroad far from my family, and we need to hear from each other regularly, a simple message like 'hello, everything is fine' is sometimes enough to avoid worry.

I'd like to do a chocolate detox... ;)

I'd like to sweets detox... ;)

Yes I would definitely want to.

My life is full of digital tox.
I have to work in front of the computer from 9am-6pm, Monday to Friday, sometimes Monday to Saturday.
And then, I play my smartphone after work until 00:00 everyday.
On weekends, I play smartphone all the time even when I am eating until I go to sleep in 00:00.
I will be dead if I don't do a digital detox.
My life is too crazy...

Yes, I would definitely like. I spend about 7 hours per day in front of a screen. Some of them are mandatory due to they are study hours, but the other ones are expendable. I think I should change my habit because my eyes are getting tired more and more. I began by putting my phone in silent mode and I should continue by stopping using the phone from certain hours, such as 21 p.m.
Cheers from Madrid.

I don't have a mobile phone, just laptop

Actually I do it from time to time. Usually, I switch off the internet and stay accessible only for calls, which means who really need me they can call me.

A personal goal is detox of social media, three months ago I disconected fo facebook by one month and I can say it was so relax, I could connected with another things and it helped me because i did many things wich I postponed, I will do it again

Definitely. In my work as a teacher, we have completely transformed from the face-to-face interaction into an online platform, I find that I spend most of my day in front of the screen to prepare for my lecture, to deliver them, attend meetings and accomplish other tasks, which take up to 10 hours of my day. After that, in the evening, I feel the need to catch up with my social media updates, communicate with my friends and watch movies or series before I sleep. So in totality, I am in front of my screen the entire time I am awake. This is something I really want to change from my daily activities. I want to take a break from my screens because I really think that this will have a negative impact on my health sooner or later.

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