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How to digital 
detox (without losing your mates)

Author: The Simple Bit

Category: Short Cuts

We spend a bunch of time on our smartphone. But how do we cut back without getting cut out?

  • On average, Australians spend 5.4 hours online per day
  • A digital ‘detox’, or even a ‘diet’ might help you get the balance back
  • Set boundaries
  • Use productivity apps
  • Go and…you know…SEE your mates. (Weird)

Ok we get the irony that we’re posting an article about digital detoxing on a digital platform that our analytics tells us you’re probably reading on your smartphone between 6 and 8 pm.

But that’s not going to stop us. Because you might find this useful. The average Aussie spends over five hours on an internet-connected device every day, with over an hour of that time spent on social media. (Facebook is still the biggest with 16 million users). 


The average Aussie spends over five hours on an internet-connected device every day.


A 2017 study linked overuse of social media and smartphones with a rise in anxiety, depression, loneliness, Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder, and addiction in a minority of people. That’s the bad bit. But the same study showed that not many people are genuinely addicted to tech, it’s just a habit. And if you can form a habit you can break one, right?

But we hear what you’re Tweeting. If you go offline, you’ll be disconnected from your social circle. We have a few tips to do the detox without dropping off the face of the earth.

Cut back, Dale. Pic by Thom Holmes via Unsplash

The Detox Bit:

It’s black and white

In 2017 a blogger named Niklas Göke went viral as heck with a Medium Post with directions to set your phone up to encourage mindful use. The point that really cut through was that by setting your phone to black and white, you remind yourself that your phone isn’t an ‘amusement park’.


…your home screen. Göke also recommends you take anything off the home screen you don’t need to use. And hide the things you know are going to tempt you.


Set yourself time and space boundaries. Time boundaries like say ‘I’ll only check socials after work for an hour’. And space boundaries like ‘no phones at the table’ or ‘no devices in the bedroom’.

Fight technology with…technology

Ok it might sound counterintuitive, but using productivity apps like Pomodoro can help you focus on tasks without getting distracted by the socials. Then you can get your work done faster and go for a freaking walk.

Serving suggestion: mates. Pic by Tim Marshall via Unsplash

The Mates bit:

Make a close friends list

Like this. This way you don’t need to see what your primary school crush (who let himself go) is up to every time you check in on FB. You can choose to only see what your close friends are up to and stay connected without too many distractions.

Let someone know before you go (offline)

Set yourself limits, and let your mates know. If they know you’re only checking in after work, they won’t be offended that you didn’t love heart their lunchtime selfie.

Actually SEE them

Ok we know this sounds nuts, but rather than staying virtually connected, give physical, IRL connection a try. Organise a night every week or two to meet up, and maybe even stream a show together.