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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

Honestly, after the COVID-19 situation, right now I think that everybody need the internet for work and study, follow an online class of University or school and also for we are conecting and speak with our family. Although, is true that we need a little time for ourselves and disconecting telephone or laptop or television.

I think that the most important is to have a balance between digital and the off-screen life. I don't believe that access to anything is good and that accessing too much is good either. Balance is the order in this subject.

Honestly, the digital device is one of the most important elements to support my life. After working hard, I like searching for websites to watch funny videos and using social media to relax. I always set an exact time alert on using social media. It helps me not spend too much time relaxing and can return my work easily. Moreover, I can live without using kinds of social media the whole day or the whole week, because I can read books or do other works instead of using social media. Therefore, I recognized that I'm not a person addicted to social media.

I think digital detox is very good for a lot of people. I try to practice this, because I think it's better to focus on important things, because I don't spend a lot of time using social medias. Now, with coronavirus we use the internet all the time, to watch classes, study, talk to our friends and family, but I turned off my notifications, and I'm trying to use the internet just for this things, and not losing time seeing social medias. I used to be a little addicted in social medias and it was't good for me, because it was difficult to stop and do my schedules. But I believe that each person should decide what is better, because a lot of people don't feel that social media is bad for concentration.

I love being conneted in social networks, however when I am with my relatives barely I use my phone, but I have to admit that a weekend without devices, including laptop and Tv, it sounds interesting and I will try the next one

As Amanda said I need to be very active online because of my work office, but I've tried to do so just in the working hours. Every day I start my work checking emails and projects al 8.30 am and finish at 6.30 pm.
After that time, I don't connect on social media apps because I don't think it is a priority for my lifestyle. I prefer doing some exercise or listen to some music.
Just in case, I'm bored waiting for the bus or stuck in the traffic jam, I check my social media.

Hi, I think that try digital detox could be a good practice for all the people. We spend a lot of time in front the screens and is necessary stay focus for develop many activities. If the people is always connected, Get rest and sleep well could be a trouble. Is important give stepa by step and find a good scenario for each one.

I recognized to have an addicted using social media after listening the topic. I have decided change my habbit. Turning notfications off is a good advice. I will try first.

I would, that would be a great experiment. Obviously- as a teenager I use my phone a lot. now because of coronavirus outbreak my whole school life happens online. after e-lessons i need to do my homework- also on my phone. it takes A LOT of time to actually be on the ball. I spend more time online than I used to before the pandemic. Now I go to city occasionally without my phone. And to be honest I surprised myslef when I realized that I forgot I dont have it! totally forgot about my phone lol. I guess when it became my duty i just got bored and tired of it haha
and i won't deny- i do use my phone a lot also for fun. I watch videos, I look for inspirations, chat with people, or just surf the internet. Even more when I have to stay at home.
it's not like i spend 247 on digital devices, but it is a part of I think everybody's life nowadays.

I would definitely like a digital detox. I think I need it sometimes.

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