What my 7-day digital detox taught me



To ring in 2022, I took on my first ever full-on digital detox which lasted for seven days. Yes. That meant seven full days without social media and it was one hell of an experience.


Before doing this, I’d heard people rave about the benefits of a digital detox every now and then. I kept insisting that it wasn’t for me though. I mean, it’s not like I was addicted to social media and couldn’t live without it, right? Wrong actually! Day two of the detox is when I found out that yes, I am in fact addicted to social media and honestly struggled to live without it even just for a full day.


The first day was so hard I almost gave up. By day two, I found myself cheating and peeking into my Whatsapp messages without actually opening them (I mean I had put out a whole PSA announcing my imminent break so I couldn’t be caught slipping). This is when I realized how bad things were so I went a step further and completely deleted all my most-used apps. Twitter had to go, Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, and Messenger also had to go. I obviously wasn’t as strong-willed as I thought so deleting the apps was the only way I’d completely switch off just as planned.


Luckily for me, from day three, my days were filled with lovely social activities that kept me distracted enough not to fret about the social media FOMO that had me in a tight grip. I had a lovely staycation at Safari Hotel with a family friend. A day later, a friend visited me with her cute baby whom I’d only met once, and towards the end of the week, one of my good friends treated me to a late birthday lunch at River Crossing Lodge. Don’t get me wrong, beautiful as these distractions were, there were still moments when I wished I could post a photo to my Instagram, see what people were talking about on Twitter, or just check in with all my people on Whatsapp.


It was a very tough week but the experience was worth it and these are some of the reasons I’d totally do it again:


  • I got to be more present and live in the moment without the pressures of letting everyone know about it.


  • I had way more free time on my hands, so much so that I read a book in two days. (This hasn’t happened since I was a teenager!).


  • My creativity literally came alive during this week. Turns out that the inspiration I seek is always within me (cliché, I know). But for real, it's incredible how much I wrote this week and how clear my vision was when I had to set out my personal and work plans for the year. Without the distractions on my phone, I had razor focus.


  • It finally dawned on me that even when I’m not constantly available - especially for work, the world won’t end. It’s really ok for me to switch off every now and then.


  • Not being bombarded with constant news and information overload is something that I had missed so much as it brought me so much calm and peace of mind. It’s something that I definitely want to experience more of in 2022.


Have you ever done a digital detox? What was the experience like? Tell me in the comments section if, like me, you’ll be taking on this kind of detox and what you hope it will do for your wellbeing.


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Wearing many hats that include journalist, publicist, events organiser and freelance writer, Rukee is most passionate about storytelling and brand-building. 

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