The Importance of digital detoxing for busy working professionals

The Importance of digital detoxing for busy working professionals

30 Apr    Columns, Finance News, Opinion

A digital detox may seem impossible in today’s technology driven world; however, there’s huge value in taking a step back and embracing time offline, and in recent years the notion of digital detoxing has become increasingly prevalent.

It’s thought that once you work in a particular sector, you are never a consumer to it again, and for myself, technology has been at the heart of my career for many years, and sometimes it can be difficult to separate work and leisure online.

The constant pinging of emails, Slack messages, LinkedIn notifications, phone calls and texts, all related to work, can sometimes seem all consuming. Which is why I personally made the choice to start a digital detox. Moving from my work-related smartphone to a Nokia 800 Tough at weekends and holidays, which has simple functionality and allows me to truly disconnect.

For working professionals who have no choice but to engage in the digital world daily, they may feel they are unable to switch off out of work, especially when work related apps are front and centre on their smartphones.

Recent research has shown workplace stress could be at an all-time high, as Google searches for burnout have reached their highest level in five years, and as such, taking a step back from constant connection is more crucial than ever.

For many, stepping away from the digital world can look isolating, as it’s something we’ve become incredibly immersed in. Having access to everyone we know and everything we need to know at out fingertips at any time. From online meetings on the go, to using our phones for tickets to events or planning travel, it’s endless connectivity. Yet there is so much to learn from taking a step away from the immediate obtainability.

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Whether it is a calmer mind, getting more in touch with reality or becoming more self-aware, the list is endless and not exclusive. For myself, the greatest gain from digital detoxing was the ability to be in the moment. I was fortunate to have the opportunity to spend a month working and living in Umbria back in early 2022, where I was surrounded by incredible scenery and beautiful weather, yet I was hooked on staying connected. Posting to social media constantly, and being unable to separate the digital world, from the real one in front of me.

I decided to delete my Instagram account completely and the experiences I encountered thereafter became for myself rather than for the sake of other people’s opinions.

Whether it is a choice that people choose to make, there is a level of genuine need for working professionals to become less attached to their devices and take a break from the digital world that never sleeps. The need for constant stimulation is a tiresome cycle that can lead to our attention spans becoming shorter and the need for engagement more intense. There will be moments of vulnerability from a lack of constant connection, however, the personal gain from taking a step back is likely to be more valuable.

It is important to note that digital detoxification can be done in small increments and be beneficial regardless of how it is achieved. It doesn’t mean you have to delete your Instagram account completely or throw away your phone. I opted for a ‘dumbphone’, one that can do the tasks of basic communication; texting, calling, WhatsApp and a camera. Due to work I have not transitioned to my dumbphone full time but on weekends it is a welcome substitution.

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Smart phones are often involved in all we do, and this reliance is only going to get more intense, both in and out of work. It is important to accept that the world around us is not going to make digital detoxification easy; too much relies on technology to encourage ‘retrogression.’ However, this does not mean it cannot be done and the effort is not worthwhile. Make small adjustments to suit your lifestyle, whether it’s reducing time on social media, taking a camera with you instead of getting your phone out of your pocket, or even making the switch to a dumbphone on the weekends, you’ll start to feel the benefits.

To find out more about my switch to a dumbphone and the benefits along with some limitations, read more here:  https://www.edjohnson.co.uk/article-digital-detox-dumbphone-5-considerations/


Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson

Ed Johnson is the CEO and Co-Founder of PushFar an online mentoring and career progression platform. Ed was listed in Forbes 30 Under 30 within the Social Impact list.

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