digital detox

a.k.a digital detalks

A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress and re-focus on social interaction in the physical world. For example, "Dude, it's time to break free of your devices and go on a digital detox."

Historical perspective: By 2017 the industry was recognizing that something is wrong with social media, according to The New York Times. Once envisioned as a space capable of producing healthy discussions and connecting people to others with similar interests, social media is now seen by a wary American public as a source of discomfort. A scroll through Twitter will render you anxious, twitchy, a little world-weary, and then there’s the Facebook realization that you've entrusted the most intimate parts of your digital life to a profit-maximizing surveillance machine. There used to be a fun, curious element to unplugging from our online lives but the rising level of toxicity in our all-consuming and unsustainable internet ecosystem means that getting offline has far more urgency and even a hint of desperation to it.

The average adult checks his or her phone 50 to 300 times daily. If you can’t stop cold turkey, according to, then start by setting boundaries like avoiding social media before lunchtime; early in the day, it will “cloud your thoughts” and hamper morning productivity. Mute or unfollow those who post nonstop, and physically log out of your accounts to reduce the temptation to check your feeds again and again. Try a weekly 24-hour sabbatical in which the entire family disables their devices can work wonders. Consider turning off notifications, and use a wristwatch or an alarm clock to check the time at night. Exclude your phone from mealtimes; don’t even set it on the table. Also deleting every social media app from your phone helps to access it in small bites, like on your laptop, rather than every time you get in line at the store or step onto an elevator.

You can do it. Some of the very people who built our systems of digital addiction and manipulation, including Facebook’s first president, Sean Parker, have begun to publicly express regret about designing social media platforms and apps that exploit our vulnerabilities and get us hopelessly hooked. “God only knows what it’s doing to our [[child tech addiction|children’s brains]],” Parker said. Excessive screen time can interfere with kids’ sleeping, eating, and ability to concentrate, prioritize, and control impulses. And given that many apps and platforms are designed with the specific goal of enticing a child and keeping them coming back for more, regulating kids’ time on a device is critical.

NetLingo Classification: Online Jargon