Digital Detox*

404896_10150450222869272_235187681_nDo you suffer from (have, like a disease) FOMO? Many people do.

FOMO is an acronym (a word made up of the first letters of several words) for Fear Of Missing Out. To miss out on something is to not have the opportunity to do or experience it – for example, I missed out on the party because I had to work.

People who suffer from FOMO have a constant (all the time) desire or need to to be plugged in (connected to the Internet). Even when they’re with other people, they keep their phones or tablets close at hand (nearby). They feel the need to connect with their friends on Facebook. Check their email. See what’s happening on their Twitter feed. If they can’t or don’t, they get anxious (feel nervous, worried).

Being connected digitally (using the Internet) can be a good thing. But for people who suffer from FOMO, the need to be constantly connected can have a downside (negative or undesirable effect). It can easily hurt their mental health and relationships with other people.

Several years ago someone came up with an idea, called Digital Detox, to help people who feel the need to be constantly connected. More than 300 million people have tried it.

The idea behind Digital Detox is very simple – set aside (schedule) a specific time to turn off your phone, tablet, or computer to do things that will contribute to (add to) your mental health and relationships with other people. It’s a way to help you free up time for activities and people that are truly (in fact) important.

A writer in Forbes has several suggestions for a successful Digital Detox:

  1. Schedule a specific time and put it on your calendar. Try starting with one day – 24 hours.
  2. Make specific plans. Spend time with friends and family. Go for a bike ride or take a hike (a long walk in the mountains or countryside). Volunteer (do something without expecting to be paid) your time to a person or organization that needs help. Find a quiet place to read a book.
  3. When the day comes, turn off your phone, tablet, and computer. Begin immediately to do what you planned for the day. Don’t turn your devices back on until the end of the day.
  4. Enjoy the activities you planned and the people you wanted to spend time with. Relax. Take your time (don’t hurry).
  5. Do it again! Don’t do a Digital Detox only once. Do it every week or every month. Make it a habit (something you do regularly).

What do you think? Is it time for you to try a Digital Detox?

* Detox; also detoxification – medical treatment for an addiction (not being able to stop doing or taking something that is bad for you).

~ Warren Ediger – ESL tutor/coach and creator of the Successful English web site, where you will find clear explanations and practical suggestions for better English.

Photo courtesy of Tell IT Media.


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16 Responses to Digital Detox*

  1. Dan says:

    Thank you Warren, How are you today, I am good.

    I am not sure of having FOMO ,maybe a little, but not to the point of getting a Digital Detox.
    I do try to do other things as well, like running for my cardiovascular system and Yoga for my flexibility.

    I subscribed to a bunch of You Tube channel, and when they post new videos I get a notification on my Phone.
    When that happens I do not feel the rush of watching that immediately. As I get home with the due calm and time I see those.

    I must admit of checking this blog several time each day, in order to see comments from my fellow learners around the globe.

    Bye! have a good day!

  2. Marcos says:

    Hi everyone

    How I said on here in other post I don’t have any kind of things like facebook, twitter, linkedin and so forth. That ill I’m free, and believe me I’m happy rs

    Have a nice day

  3. Parviz says:

    Hi everybody,
    So pity I missed out on Lucy’s post Tuesday.
    I know I have been away for a while, but believe you me, I keep Esl at my hand.
    Though I may not leave a post, reading the blog is out of the question.
    As I said reading the blog and catching up to you guys is my obsession.
    It seems like I have to get my fix plugging in this blog.
    But, I haven’t Emiliano for a while. Any word of him?
    Hey Emiliano, are you out there?


  4. Thiago Messias says:

    What a wonderful article. Very helpful.
    Sometimes we are caught doing these things and every now and then we need a digital detox 🙂

    Thanks again.


  5. emiliano says:

    Of course Parviz, here I am reading Tania and Dan´s
    Even other like Marcos, Thiago, Parviz or Aecio´s.

    Sometimes Betty or emiliano also appears but
    it seems they are very busy now.

    What would they doing? A mistery.

    Dan and Tania keep on with their good nice actitude towards
    the ESL´s Blog writing once and again.

    Thank you dear friends.

  6. emiliano says:

    What would are they doing? not a mistery
    at least emiliano is making mistakes.


  7. emiliano says:

    Talking about the subject our dear Warren posts as interesting as everything
    he writes, I could say myself that YES I am in the group that needs a digital
    detox as my computer is always on, all day from the 8 a.m. till night 1 a.m.,
    I could check my mail ten or even more frequently along the day, some time I
    use to write three or four long mails as few, but what is even worst I am posting
    my own blog “desembuches gatufo” several times along the day.
    In bloger + facebook and tweeter too, so yes, it could be good to have a
    Digital Detox or not?.
    Well I am doing all these things because I use to be full day at home as I don´t
    like to left Cuca alone, not Gatufo either.
    Now that I have help from Isabel who goes to shop everything what is necessary
    to us, food and several other thing for the house, I don´t need to be out and
    it is very good as summer temperatures in Madrid are up to 36 º cent. full day
    and even at nigh we have 23º even more.

    So going out home why for?
    I prefer to indoors looking after my dear wife and Gatufo, with cold nice
    air, 23 or 24º inside home, writing on the computer some times three or
    four notes in my blog, as yesterday, reading in the Kindle or listening good
    music, classic, rock, folk, jazz, which ever nice music I like to listen to.

    It is possible I need a Digital Detox but I don´t want to have it just now
    because I am right doing what I do every day.

    I know that being so, indoors, I can´t support the idea of having not
    the computer and internet, yes I need it, Cuca needs it too. We have
    three computers at home, one for her and two for me.

    Traveling through Germany I have been in the good company of seventy
    persons that were traveling with me everyplace.
    It was nice, I have several talks with nearly every one of them as I change
    of table for meals frequently.
    At the end of the trip I talk aloud for all of them inside the bus and thanks
    the good company the have been for me traveling alone, as they give me
    the sense I wasn´t alone among them.

    So yes, I coud be in relationship with persons, friends, or which ever
    situation it could be, but being alone with Cuca and Gatufo, with my computer,
    tablets, kindle and other gadgets i am really very happyl

    So Digital Detox? No thank you, let me be as I am intoxicated with the
    electronic gadgets, facebook, mails, google, and everything…..

    Thank you so much Warren, it is really an interesting subjec…..every person
    is a world by him/her self……so what is good for me it could be not so good
    for you.

    My best dear friends of the Blog. Thanks again Warren.


  8. Betty says:

    Hello to Everyone!

    Thank you Dear Warren. This is a very nice article. And as always, you have given us a beautiful and artistic image in this blog.

    I love the phrases Facebook Fatigue, Twitter Twitch, Blogger Burnout.

    Well, I have a facebook account which I used only once to support my niece in her competition. I needed to open a Facebook account in order to vote for her. I feel I was being manipulated by the Facebook company, but I could not disappoint my dearest niece.

    So, that’s the only one time I used Facebook. I opened a new Gmail account so to open a new Facebook account. None of my friends or any other companies has got this gmail account of mine. I don’t want to have Facebook Fatigue.

    In fact Emiliano is right to say that Betty and Emiliano are appearing less in this blog nowadays. We are still here reading everyone’s comments, just writing less.

    We both will suffer from a symptom called “Eye High, hand low”.

    What it means? It means our ability to read is high, but our ability to write is low.

    Actually, Emiliano, it’s not a mystery why I don’t write so much recently.

    I have a sore finger which could be brought on by driving too much last month because I needed to take my sister and her friend and her friend’s daughter to see more of England.

    Or, it was because I typed on my smartphone too much.

    Might be Warren is right. I need Digital Detox.

    OK, let me start my Digital Detox immediately.

    See you after I have Digital Detoxed.

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  9. Zahra says:

    You know what… I hate being among people with their heads into their cell phones all the time!!!

  10. Parviz says:

    Hi emiliano,
    And also your full of advice (and surprise).
    Sometimes I am very busy to look into esl post.
    Some mornings I push myself to get earlier and check out the blog, only to see that emiliano has left a biiiiig lengthy comment, on the blog.
    I wish I had more time, and a girl friend to read with me.
    Both rare.

    ……I am an old man, filled of regrets, waiting to die alone.
    (an inception, is my detox).


  11. emiliano says:

    Dear Betty,

    So good to see you here again dear friend, it is the time to write something and
    it is necessary that emiliano and Betty don´t let all the blog´s work to Dan, Tania
    and other friends.

    I have to say that emiliano spend a lot of time writing also in his own blog ” desembuches gatufo”
    as coming back from his trip to Germany he has a lot of stories to tell but even
    several photos takien at Belin, Dresden, Nuremberg and Munich.

    Germany it is another world now and my mouth still remanins open with
    astonishment remembering all the beauty monuments, buildings, and streets
    of all these cities.

    I think he is going to write too much more about his feelings doing the trip through this

    Happy return Betty, ja,ja, we all hope to see you (an emiliano) more frequently.

    Yours faithfully, emiliano

  12. emiliano says:

    Dear Parviz,
    we do not know anything about future, about our next day of living, even less about
    our next year and so on.

    Don´t say that, sure there is somebody waiting for you to be happy together the
    same as emiliano found his twin soul you have another that sure is thinking the
    same like you.

    Now emiliano is writing in Spanish how he met his love and every chapter is read by
    him to his dear Cuca.

    She likes the story, it is shorter and better that the one he tried to write in English
    so bad.

    It is pity you don´t know Spanish, as it is posted in his desembuches from time
    to time.
    Slowly, if it is good enough he is hoping to give it to his loving spouse.

    Try to think about it, as emiliano found Her when he was and old young already.


    I would like to see you here frequently, it is always a pleasure.


  13. emiliano says:

    Reading than there has been another earthquake in the north of
    California near San Francisco.

    “California earthquake: ‘dozens’ injured and damage widespread in Napa”

    Sorry for you all, it is frightening to read
    it at the paper, I hope all of you relatives and friends are O.K.


  14. Marcos says:

    I heard about the earthquake too and I hope that all of you are okay.


  15. Bolor says:

    I guess I really need digital detox. I am 24 hours connected to the internet and always checking my mail, chat apps even there isnt new message. lol
    what I noticed is I feel so tired most of the time and it became less talking to my family.

  16. Fardowsa Dayib says:

    Hi Dr. warren,
    I am suffering FOM I believe and I do for the sake of school. My phone connects to my school email and comes directly as a message to my phone and has the same alert sound. I constantly check it when I hear the sound and read through. I don’t like missing out emails from my instructor. They usually send emails relate to assignments and grades, however I skim through if the message is unimportant. I respect my family and when I am with them I devote my time to them and shut off the entire device I am carrying.

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