Turn off notifications, hide your handset and please don't take your phone to the loo: Digital detox expert Tanya Goodin on how to disconnect for a better life
Digital pioneer-turned-digital detox expert Tanya Goodin was the star of our first author event at the Olympic Studios in Barnes, where we discussed her book OFF! Your Digital Detox for a Better Life.
Tanya shared some brilliant advice on taming our triggers and regaining control from the 'tiny tyrants' in our pockets. Here are her top three tips for anyone in need of some time off from their devices...
THREE WAYS TO DISCONNECT, FAST
1. Turn off your notifications
ALL of them. Those sexy buzzes and noises and graphics and lights are designed by gaming experts to deliver teeny hits of dopamine that keep you coming back for more. Turning off your notifications means that you choose to proactively engage with the phone on your terms, rather than mindlessly reacting whenever you get a 'like'. (Tanya even has her ringtone on silent, which I appreciate may be a step too far for digi detox beginners).
2. Keep your phone out of sight
When you're not using it, put your phone away. Whether that's in your bag or desk drawer when you're out, or in another room when you're at home. If you were trying to stay away from sugar you definitely wouldn't carry around your favourite chocolate bar in your hand all day. Or leave it - and temptation - out on the table staring at you at every opportunity. Out of sight = out of mind (research shows that the just presence of handsets, even if screens are off or facing down, can be distracting for anyone within eyeshot).
Setting boundaries is important and making places like bedrooms and bathrooms into no-phone-zones for everyone in the house is a brilliant way to disconnect from devices and reconnect with yourself and others.