To add to kb: there’s a difference between digital detoxing and digital minimalism. One is about considering what really matters to you, and choosing carefully which kind of tech to use, discarding the rest. The other is about going back to a Nokia because you lived like that before and you think you’ll manage. One requires figuring out what you really want from tech, the other is an attempt to fix tech with more tech.
It takes more time and experimentation, but it’s worth it. I have, for example, uninstalled all social media for a few weeks, only adding back what I really missed. (Really, not a lot. Even though Insta is fun.) I never hear my phone ring or buzz unless I’m directly expecting a call. I have removed 90% of all notification, and my phone screen doesn’t light up unless someone calls me. After 10pm, my screen turns greyscale and I need to unlock any app that isn’t communication-related.
All of it is to remind my brain that this grey box is designed to distract me from things that I really value (reading books, spending time with others) with short, meaningless bursts of dopamine.
I once read that focus is not something you have, it’s something you escape to. During my Budapest trip recently, my colleague noticed that I didn’t check my phone for hours on end, even though I had it right there in my pocket. That was entirely intentional - I wanted to focus just on this trip and on getting to know my colleague better.
That trip made me very aware of the benefit of silence. Not in the literal sense - the city was not exactly quiet - but in the sense of not distracting myself from the present with thoughts from other people.
"A constant flow of thoughts expressed by other people can stop and deaden your own thought and your own initiative...That is why constant learning softens your brain. Stopping the creation of your own thoughts to give room for the thoughts from other books reminds me of Shakespeare's remark about his contemporaries who sold their land in order to see other countries." - Arthur Schopenhauer