Yesterday, the team stepped away from social media to join in with #DigitalDetoxDay – a campaign brought to you by Zoe, I Am Whole and Lush Cosmetics to raise awareness of the negative impact our digital devices can have on our mental health.
We are all increasingly dependent on our phones; addicted to the pace of responding to messages as soon as they’ve popped up and keeping up with other people’s seemingly perfect lives, so much so that we often struggle to keep up with our own.
On Saturday 5th September, we switched off for 24 hours to reconnect with our real lives and re-evaluate our relationship with social media. No sharing, no scrolling, no liking, just living that notification-free life.
Find out what the team got up to, how it felt to properly switch off from social and how often they like to have a digital detox.
Digital detox day was something I felt SO prepared for. After years of creating, building and working so hard to get this campaign up and running, I felt like I’d absolutely have this in the bag. A whole day without scrolling through social media… easy!! However, my thumbs appear to be programmed to just flick open Instagram at any moment to fill throughout the day apparently. I actually moved my Instagram app into its own folder on a separate bit of my phone homepage so I wasn’t tempted, and it worked! But my little thumb kept clicking where the app once was. It was such a nice day to refocus, reconnect and re-evaluate how much time I spend on social media and how much of my time I think about using it. It very quickly became apparent that i use it as a filler in my day & yesterday felt like I had so much more time to do things when I wasn’t using it. The day felt longer, conversations were much more deep and meaningful without anyone being on their phone & overall it was such a nice, wholesome day.
I tend to try and do detox’s every Christmas time, however I don’t usually ban myself from checking in at what others are doing, so this was a first for me. I’m really good at not posting, but the consuming other people’s content and feeling connected in that way, was much harder than I thought it would be. I’m so happy I was able to do it though, and as the day went on it became easier and easier and when Sunday rolled around, I could have definitely still stayed off until Monday!
We started the day off heading to London to see the campaign up on the big screens in Piccadilly where they were turned off for the fourth time in history to signify switching off for mental health and that was a really special moment.
We also went for brunch beforehand with Alfie, Maddie & her hubby Joel, Poppy & Sean which was so nice. Stopping off at my brother’s to sing him an early happy birthday and eat a slice of cake, then headed home to celebrate the dogs 6th birthday with a takeaway. It was the perfect day and it certainly made me realise how addicted I really am to using Instagram.
I will definitely be adding more digital detox days into my life going forward, and not just days where I don’t post, days where I don’t even open the app at all 💗
Hi, I’m Maddie and I’m addicted to scrolling online. I’ll admit it, I have an unhealthy relationship with social media. It’s the first thing I check when I wake up and the last thing before I go to sleep, with a whole lot of scrolling in between. I do love it, it’s my job but even if it wasn’t I know I would be just as glued to it as I am now.
I love documenting my life and having snapshots of moments to look back on in the future, but I’m acutely aware that 90% of the time it’s only the best bits, the highlights reel AKA, not real life. If I’m being honest I found the detox quite hard. Social media has become part of my daily routine but at the same time to go cold turkey was a bit of a revelation. For Digital Detox Day, Piccadilly Circus agreed to turn their lights off for 10 minutes to mark the day. This was a BIG deal as it’s only the 4th time in history it’s ever happened. Zoe and I knew we HAD to be there to mark the occasion so we met up in Covent Garden for an early brunch along with my husband, Alfie, Poppy and Sean (and Captain Bear) before heading to Piccadilly to see Zoe and Jordan’s billboard be turned “OFF”.
I’m so proud of this campaign and it was a real pinch-me moment to see it up on the biggest screens in London.
Joel and I then took Bear for a walk and went home to cook dinner and have a relaxing evening, it was such a great day. I felt like I had so much free time it was quite a scary realisation, I’m definitely going to try and take days off social media more often!
I spend an unhealthy amount of time on social media and my screen time stats show it. The numbers don’t lie! Even if I’m not physically on it, I’m usually thinking about it – shooting imagery, pulling together moodboards for inspiration, writing captions and planning my Instagram content, so my work life balance is pretty non-existent. My brain is always on the go, which is why doing a digital detox felt so restorative. It’s one thing to say you’re just going to take the day off from posting and sharing on social (which I often do here and there) but to actively disengage and forget it even exists for a day has been pretty liberating.
What’s interesting to me is how much more relaxed I feel once I step away from the online world – it’s like I’ve given myself permission to be unreachable for a few minutes. Honestly, when my battery goes and I’m away from a charger, a little part of me is relieved! It means I can forget that whole other responsibility of constant connectivity for a while. Half the time I open Instagram just out of habit and end up mindlessly scrolling without any particular purpose. All of a sudden, I’ve lost an hour! That’s theft.
Digital detox day was an opportunity to indulge in the simplicity of the here and now – to go out for a walk and just put one foot in front of the other, instead of checking my phone, documenting said walk for Instagram, or trying to change hen do flights and respond to urgent WhatsApp messages, DMs and emails. It was a whole 24 hour period where I got to ask less of myself and my time. I’m one of those people who worry I’ll forget to get back to someone unless I respond then and there (I would also hate for anyone to feel like I’ve ignored them) so I find myself spreading myself too thinly, juggling 10 tasks or conversations at once and unable to give the adequate energy to any one of them. I need to learn to be more protective of my energy.
I’ve fallen into the habit of going straight on social media as soon as I wake up and it immediately makes me feel crabby, like I’ve deprived my mind of the gentle wakeup routine it deserves, so on Friday evening I left my phone in the hallway so I wasn’t tempted to look at it on my bedside table in the morning.
I spent Saturday AM easing myself into the weekend by reading in bed with a coffee. I went to check out a new restaurant in town, followed by a bit of weekend thrifting – it’s amazing how many bargs you notice when you’re not married to your phone. The evening involved plonking myself in the bath with Zoe’s IRL bath bomb and a glass of wine – it was pure uninterrupted bliss.
Doing DDD has inspired me to make sure I commit to taking regular social media breaks and even phone-free days where possible. Having that downtime away from my devices has enabled me to see what healthy boundaries look like! I feel properly rested & ready to give my creative best again, which is so important for my mental health.
I don’t think I’ve ever taken a full 24 hours offline since getting a phone/setting up my social media pages all those years ago which is just WILD to me- it’s crazy how much of my day is taken up with refreshing and scrolling so going fully cold turkey was always going to be a challenge!
I almost had to set some sort of reminder to myself when I woke up to not immediately grab for my phone because it’s just SO ingrained in me to immediately open Instagram. My whole routine felt different- even when I eat my breakfast I’m ordinarily scrolling TikTok or catching up on the news via Twitter whilst I was asleep, so I must admit I did feel a little out of the loop.
I decided to take the day slowly and try and be really grounded and mindful of how I was going to spend my time, as usually I’ll be rushing around or procrastinating by scrolling endlessly. Although I love reading a good book, I’m often drawn away from it by a cheeky IG scroll, so it was beyond lovely to dedicate so much time to getting through my hefty TBR pile and transport to another world for a little while. I also went for a long walk on the beach, which again would normally involve a scroll through Insta as I’m walking- I considered leaving my phone fully at home, but in the end decided Spotify would be nice so I wasn’t in complete silence for my whole day.
The rest of my Saturday was spent wandering The Laines (I popped into Lush and saw The IRL bath bomb IRL!), sorting and cleaning the flat and cooking a new vegan tempura veg and sticky mushroom recipe I’d picked up from a friend! It felt like such a wholesome and relaxing day and gave me a lot of perspective and appreciation for the little things. Having a whole day offline made me realise how negatively social media can make me compare myself, and a day without any of those worries or fears was exactly what I needed. I actually think going cold turkey and cutting it out fully was so beneficial because there was no temptation for just ‘a couple more minutes’ scrolling or to get any sense of FOMO. It’s definitely something I’ll be doing more as my screen time is normally so horrendous, and will be encouraging my friends and family to do the same!
So! Digital Detox Day was actually supposed to be the day after my wedding (cancelled due to COVID) so I’d already decided that I wanted my family to come and stay, so we could do something fun and distract us from feeling sorry for ourselves. Taking a digital detox is actually not something I do very often, and sometimes on slower weekends, I’m guilty of wasting SO much time scrolling and putting things off that I want to get done.
Sometimes I feel like the amount I enjoy social media doesn’t correspond with how much time I spend on there at all, you’d think I’d really love something that I’m able to spend hours doing! Social media often makes me feel alone when I can see so many of my friends out and about living their best lives and I have to constantly remind myself that people only post when they’re doing things, and I’m the same. When it comes to celebrities I don’t easily let their lavish lifestyles or banging bodies make me feel bad about myself because I follow so many down to earth, funny, relatable, joyful people that balance it out. I think I’m probably in need of a bit of a refresh when it comes to who I’m following as even though there are 1500+ accounts I always end up seeing the same 20 people over and over again!
On Digital Detox Day my sister, brother in law, and my parents came down to Brighton for a good old day of fun. We drank and ate and went to see some comedy at The Warren down on the beach. I chucked all my “temptation-time sucking” apps into a folder and didn’t touch them all day and I loved not feeling guilty about not knowing what was going on. The biggest takeaway for me was that i felt like I was much more in the moment and wasn’t turning to my phone every 20 minutes to check it for no reason at all. I think I’ll start taking a DDD every month!
I was so ready for Digital Detox Day! I know how addicted I am to social media, I can spend hours indulging in Instagram and Tik Tok and at the time I enjoy it, but after I always wonder why I just wasted so much time looking at what others are doing. I love working within social media and I see so much good from it, but in my personal life I definitely scroll too much and I think this can sometimes affect my mental health negatively. I find being online too much perpetuates that notion of constant comparison to others, it can make me feel like I am way behind others my age or that I haven’t achieved enough yet. But something I try to remember when I get in my feelings is that social media is the best bits of peoples lives and you truly never know what someone is really going through. At the end of the day, social media are just apps on your phone, tiny insignificant apps which could be deleted and never opened again in a heartbeat. Don’t let an app make you feel less worthy EVER.
For Digital Detox Day I wanted to allow myself a guilt-free day, I find a lot of the time, especially at weekends, I feel constant guilt for “not doing enough” or spending it a certain way. So I allowed myself zero guilt, just relaxation and enjoying the moment. I started my day absolutely screen-free, I didn’t even check texts or WhatsApp. I actually put my phone on do not disturb for the entire day to stop me reaching for it. I also locked all my social media apps so notifications couldn’t come through from them too.
I spent the rest of my morning getting ready slowly, not interrupted by checking social media every 10 mins looking at the same news feed on repeat. I then met my Nana for lunch which was lovely, which involved no sneaky checking of social media mid-convo that all of us are guilty of doing. I met up with my Dad too for a dog walk with the pugs, another event I realised I probably would have checked my phone at some point for no reason. I actually left my phone at home for this walk and ended up not picking it up for the rest of the evening. I spent the rest of my day reading my book and I had a lovely bath with the IRL bath bomb, pure relaxation.
Digital Detox Day has shown me just how important having a break is, it really refreshed my mind and I aim to do one monthly from now on!