August 19, 2021

Digital Detox

I started a digital detox this week. My head feels better already.

Most digital detoxes are temporary breaks from screen time. For this one I wanted to permanently transform how I use the internet. 

It has been straight forward and easy.

We have never had a dumb phone, so there was nothing to do there. What I needed to do was dramatically change how I was using our computer.

If no news is good news, then lots of news is bad news, and I have been reading a lot of news since March 2020.

Worse than the news, are the comments associated with the news. Depending on where you are, comments can get pretty toxic.

When it comes to a digital detox, temporary or permanent, the best think to do is make everything you would like to avoid harder to get to.

My computer is too big to put in a container, fill with water, and put in the freezer. 

Hold on, that's credit cards. It would make using my computer a little too hard. On the other hand, if this doesn't work, perhaps I will try it.

There are other less drastic ways of making mind destroying content more difficult to link into.

Everything runs counter to this idea. The entire internet makes it as easy as possible to connect. 

Of course it does. There is important propaganda and advertising they want us to see.

So, no direct links to anything. No single click set-ups. Nothing automatic or easy.

I can still access everything I want, but only via the harder way.

It is amazing how just adding one or two steps has the ability to make things you are trying to avoid easier to stay away from.

Now I must really want to get somewhere, rather than automatically finding myself there.

One thing I am particularly happy about was deleting my Twitter account. 


It was surprisingly easy to do. 

They do, however, automatically give you a 30 day window in case you have a change of heart and wish to re-activate your account. 

That is not going to happen. Now I am counting the days to the happy outcome of denying them my attention forever.

Next I unsubscribed from everything that sends notices to my email account. 


I even quit my Google alert for "simple living" that sends links to my account on a daily basis. 

Information overload is information overload, even if it is good information.

The hard one was emptying out my Blogger Reading List. 

Over the years it has made accessing sites I enjoy very easy. Too easy. 

I thought I might keep some, but when it came right down to it I decided to let them all go.

Again, I can still visit all the sites I had on my Reading List, but it will just take a couple of extra steps. 

Having done the above, I immediately experienced the result I was looking for.

All of a sudden my relationship with my computer changed for the better. I immediately started spending less time on sites I want to avoid.

It is amazing how much other, more positive stuff I have done since.

Closets are getting decluttered, our garden is in fine form, and I find I have more time to do other things that I enjoy and are good for my mental health.

In this day of extreme toxicity, it is important to limit one's exposure to the whole mess. 

A digital detox is a great way to do it, and I highly recommend doing one as soon as possible.


  1. Being able to have a weekly digital fast day is one of the many things I am looking forward to in retirement. I have already cut Facebook down to a monthly check in - of all my many 'friends' there are two wonderful people who have made a point of keeping in touch (says a lot doesn't it?). I have a smartphone but intentionally keep it as stupid as possible - my children cannot fathom why I don't want to have my banking and shopping and a gazillion apps at my fingertips 24/7 - I think they see it as a symptom of old age. I had a similar book experience. Many years ago (coming up on three decades ago, in fact) someone left a copy "365 Tao: Daily Meditations" by Deng Ming-Doa on a bus seat. When I took it to the bus driver to put in Lost & Found he just shook his head and told me to keep it. I kept it. And I carried it with me on the bus for the next year and a half or so, reading and ruminating on each meditation on my daily commute. Day by day I was led back to my true center, back to the core of what I knew I believed but had been trying to ignore "in the present distress." Oh, and by the way, this Sunday is my last working day . . .

    1. Oh, Mela! Linda and I are so happy for you. Congratulations on entering the next wonderful phase of your life. May it be long and restful. We figure you deserve it, and worked hard to get there.

    2. Wouldn't it be interesting to meet the person that left the book on the bus just for you?

    3. Thank you Gregg and Linda - I am pretty pleased myself. Logged off for the last time at 21:07 CDT tonight. I have never felt so calm and centered in my life. I feel like I am entering my own personal "Age of Tranquility." And, yes, I have often wondered about the person who left the book - it makes me a little sad to think they may have missed it as much as I have come to rely on it.


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