Usually, I cover articles about decentralization and privacy, but today I want to challenge you, regardless of if you are someone who wants to be more private or someone who just wants the convenience of just using what Google and Facebook gives you.

I'm calling it The Digital Detox Challenge.

Most people wake up and the first thing they do is grab their cellphone which is usually placed directly next to them beside the bed! This is the first big problem, have your phone in another room, you will thank me for that!

Then you catch up on your messages, perhaps on Facebook and Instagram or whatever you use and that makes you happy, then, during breakfast, perhaps you watch some YouTube or answer some more messages and emails.

However, as great as this sounds and for all the “information” you receive, it can also make you sick, addicted! Smartphones, iPads, and computers are things you should use for communicating with family and friends and to get work done, but they should not become extra limbs that make you scroll all day.

I started my digital detox when lockdowns started in March 2020. Since then, I have strived to be more 'gadget free', to catch up on the news then move on, there's no good reason to be on there all day long.

I'm not saying follow my exact model, but I managed, for an entire year, to have my phone in another room overnight, and have it on silence from 7 pm till 7am, and that is a good start. You can easily push that further when you add in my weekend 'fakeations' where I have the phone on silent all day long.

The next step of my challenge started on February 04, 2021. I will have my phone on silent 24/7, catching up on my messages and toots (I still love Mastodon) and my articles early in the morning, and finish all I want or need to do by 10am. My family's numbers are whitelisted in case of an emergency but even then I leave the phone in another room and don't carry it round with me.

But as I say, my model may not work for everyone, I know I do better with the 'cold turkey' approach but maybe you can wean yourself away from your phone by only texting every two hours for 10 minutes or a similar type of restriction. It always helps to have support around you so maybe think about explaining what you are doing to family, friends, colleagues and contacts so that they a) understand and are not offended when you are slower to respond and b) maybe even convince them to follow your example and join The Challenge!

I remember the good old days when people did not have cellphones or Twitter or Facebook but still lived great lives and this is where I want my detoxification to take me to again. I want to take my fakeations, read books, have more time for my family, walk with the kids and the dogs daily and just not stress anymore about whether anyone has messaged me. In fact, I always had the reputation of answering messenges way too fast. Yet other friends would sometimes took a day or two to answer me, so the question became why do I need to answer that fast, or sometimes, why do I need to answer this at all.

2021 will be my pre-retirement year. I will write on DT, in my own time, I might write less, but without all the cellphones and gadgets giving me stress, even without realising it, I believe the articles will become better!

Take the detox challenge for yourself, have your phone off overnight, in another room, limit your social media to 30 minutes a day, answer your text messages in the morning and then switch off and start living. As I said, I'm looking forward to more hours of enjoyment, with more books, with a cocktail at 5pm, with my kids, dogs and wife! Start your own digital detox and if you want to go the next step, try taking those fakeations to a whole new level.

The Great Fakeation - kiddy-on holidays for grown ups
When the world suddenly changed because of the ongoing pandemic, it led to many of us having to ‘endure’ the boredom of the locked-down life. We worked from home (WFH) and ended most days with some Netflix, rinse, repeat! Boring! Well, that might have been different and some fun to start with but, …

I sure do and I challenge you to become part of a movement towards a healthier, more enjoyable lifestyle! Social cooling is real, but addressing it is still in your hands!

Social Cooling and our kids Privacy in the age of social media
Social Cooling is a phenomena that has manifested itself in recent times and is based on the premise that as Big Tech becomes more intrusive in crafting our individual profiles, the more people are backing away from indulging in the more ‘social’ aspects of social media. In fact, the surprising cor…

Good day to you (for today) ;-)

The Privacy Advocate