It was 8 p.m. on Monday. I brought my phone and laptop to my friend’s apartment, put them in the drawer, and told him not to give them back until Wednesday at 8 p.m.

I felt so free. But boy, I was unprepared.

Here are four tips for going on a technology detox:

1. Get used to that ‘I must be forgetting something’ feeling.

I credit Google Calendar for every aspect of organization in my life. So when I did not have it, I was a mess. Make sure you have all homework and appointments written in a paper calendar.

2. Be creative.

During my free time,  I couldn’t go on social media, watch Netflix, text a friend, listen to music, or even read an article online. My high boredom level forced me to think out of the box and be productive. I picked up hours at work, started to read a book, cooked new recipes, and did yoga.

3. Tell your parents before.

This was my biggest mistake.

I don’t talk to my parents daily, but occasionally they’ll give me a call. Of course, my mom called about 15 hours into the cleanse. After my 48 hours ended, I finally called her back, and she said she was so worried she almost contacted the school.

Tell all your friends and family, whether you see them every day or not, that you are giving up technology.

4. Have a backup plan for everything. 

I made dinner plans with my friends. How will I tell them I’m ready? I always workout with music. Do I run in silence? I type my notes for class. Should I buy a notebook? I use my phone for my alarm. How will I wake up?

Honestly, I didn’t make any backup plans. I just went with it and hoped everything would work out.

For the most part, it did. My friends just knocked on my door to get me. I used a notebook in class. I woke up an hour early from my roommate’s alarm. Everything just fell into place.

In the end, I think giving up all forms of technology for two days straight is a bit extreme. Not having my calendar, alarm, or messages was just too stressful.

But, there are many benefits for an occasional technology detox.

I stopped wasting my time on social media or watching television, felt productive doing homework, was more present in conversations, and was not worrying about issues I could not control.

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” —Anne Lamott

I survived 48 hours without technology. Can you?


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