Lenten Digital Detox: How to Simplify?

For Lent this year I decided to take part in a form of digital detox. I was convicted about how much time I was on my phone and the amount of time I was wasting by checking it needlessly.  I felt that by creating boundaries for my phone usage I would be more present, less distracted, and more productive. Here were the guidelines I created and how they made life simpler.

  1. In Bea Johnson’s Zero Waste Home one valuable tip they recommended was only checking your email three times a day.  Pick three times that are convenient and make sense for you to check your email.  For me it was in the morning when I first get up, in the afternoon when both kids are napping, and in the evening after we put the kids to bed.
  2. Think about the amount of emails you receive and unsubscribe to emails you do not want to receive or are not essential.  Not receiving them is simply easier than deleting them daily. For me I thought about: Have I ever ordered something online from this store?  Can I receive this information somewhere else if I need it? How did I even start getting these emails? The first day I unsubscribed or changed my email preferences to over 30 different sites. I realized there were some stores I never shopped at or emails that I never requested getting.  By unsubscribing it has saved me time since now I do not have to sort through as many emails a day and it has significantly decluttered my inbox.
  3. Respond to emails as soon as they come in. With less clutter in my inbox and more time I try to respond to emails that require a response either that day or the next day. I often do this during the afternoon while my kids are napping and I have the most time. I used to often put off responding because I thought I did not have the time and then I would forget about them.
  4. Check social media once a day. There are wonderful things about Facebook, Instagram, bloglovin’, Pinterest. They can be extremely useful tools and offer great resources. That being said they can simply be a time theif.  I thought this would be much harder than it was. It was much easy than I thought and it was nice to have some down time in the evening to look through it all. You really are not missing anything by not checking this every 5 minutes and your the picture of your friend’s kid trying a new food or your coworker’s vacation pictures will still be there.

Put down your phone. Enjoy time with people and have a happy Easter!

Lenten Digital Detox: How to Simplify?

Lenten Digital Detox

Lent is a time to prepare our hearts for Easter.  During this time we have the opportunity to make a decision about adding something into our life that draws us closer to God or giving up certain types of luxuries.  I have been convicted recently about how much I am on my phone.  It certainly is a convenience many of us have become accustomed too, but along with the benefits of the digital age I think there are a number of drawbacks.

For Lent I am making the conscious effort to do a form of digital detox.  For me this will include only checking and responding to my email three times a day and only checking social media once a day.  I am not doing this form of digital detox as some sort of punishment or simply to choose something to give up, but I am choosing not to waste so much time on my phone.  With the extra time I plan to incorporate a daily devotional into my routine.

Not only do I think that this will help my spiritual life, but I also think it will help me find time for more important things. These are some more practical steps that I plan to incorporate to help me save time. I plan to unsubscribe to emails I do not care to receive instead of deleting them.  I hope to clean out my inbox and respond to emails in a timely manner. Finally, I plan to cut down on my internet browsing.

Some of my goals for this season are to be more present and more productive.  My phone is a big distraction from relationships and things I need to get done. Is it really necessary to check your email 20 times a day?  Are you really going to be late to seeing your acquaintance’s new Instragram picture?  How much time do you think we waste on our phones?  Do they control us?

Remember the time when there was not cell phones.  Were people more present? more creative? more productive? more focused? less stressed?  Follow along in this journey of digital detox with me.

“By creating healthy relationships with our devices, developing new positive social norms and etiquette, and by changing the ways in which we build and design our digital technologies, we will shift the course of human history.”

Digital Detox Manifesto

Lenten Digital Detox