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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

Hi marciacriollo,

Sorry to hear that the audio is not working :(

I've just tested it on my computer, and it's working for me. It may have been a temporary problem.

Is the audio still not working for you? If it's not working, is it only this audio, or are other audios in the Listening section also not working?

Best wishes,

Jonathan

The LearnEnglish Team

Definitely. The digital detox is what I need sometimes. I have to admit I spend a lot of time in front of screens of my laptop, desktop, and smartphone. Ok, I need my computer to learn English, Polish, and programming at home. You can't learn anything without the internet nowadays. I spent several hours every day studying. But, I also look at my screen (mostly smartphone) without any reason. I don't know why. It's a kind of a bad habit now, you always feel you need to check something on your phone: some new notifications or a newsfeed on Facebook or Tweeter or other social networks.
And it's not something you can't live without just another bad habit like smoking or swearing.
Sometimes I tell myself to reduce my online time but with the mixed result so far, if the truth to be told ;)
Maybe I need to read a good motivating book or find a new passion to take up my time to avoid gadgets.
I don't know what else to say about that ... maybe I should check my Facebook to fill this awkward pause ))

To be honest l do that every day when I was on my work or sit next to me any one, but l use it when l feel boring .

I would definitely love it, I have done it before, sometimes it's difficult but you realize there are so many better and real reasons to put attention to your world that you find it easier, it's like if you lived more :D

Unfortunately, all our generations is contaminated of this.where will we go?

Of course I would! I am already doing that every summer - reading books and swimming instead of surfing on the net!

I think that it's really important to take a break from our devices. During this lockdown, we have spent a lot of time in front of all screens, it was a good opportunity to stay in touch with far friends or family, but I used this time to switch off my phone, tv and social in order to get more spare time for my passions. And it was incredible because I felt that I was in the right way. I had time for myself. Of course, we were closed at home, but the hours flew away. I missed that. Right now, I come back to normal life, but I turn off all notifications from my phone and I tried to use social less to keep on my personal projects.

Yes, I do.
it's a great idea too me, i set long time on the screens.

For me ,actually i don’t need to do digital detox because I can control myself and realize how much time I spend using my phone, I connect to social media only when I have free time otherwise I have to do many other useful things such learning English , reading books and doing exercises

me too, but lesson idea is so great :)

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