My timeline tells me that there is an increasing interest in the so-called ‘digital detox’.
I don’t get it.
As well as working in HR, I am also a qualified personal trainer. In that world, we often see reference to detoxing. In the physical context, detoxing as it is often portrayed, is unnecessary. A cynic might even say it is a manufactured concept designed to sell products. And there are a lot of products.
Generally speaking, our bodies do not any need help to ‘detox’. They are fully capable of managing the process for themselves. It is the function of the liver.
That is not to say you can’t help it along with way with a healthy diet and drinking habits.
Detoxing in the fitness and diet space is usually about the denial of something that we perceive to be bad for us. Giving up alcohol or a particular food stuff. Cleansing our bodies and diets on the assumption that this will improve our health. When it comes to the plethora of supporting products, there is little evidence, beyond the anecdotal, that they actually do.
Detoxing is always popular after Christmas. After a period of indulgence, we try to undo the excesses of the season with a quick fix, as the ‘new year, new you’ marketing juggernaut swings into action.
When it comes to health, what we really need more than a detox is consistent good habits and balance. Something that applies to the digital world too.
I saw an article recently advocating a detox retreat. A holiday without access to technology. No wifi, no devices.
But for most of us, giving up technology means turning off our lives – as well as the benefits it brings us. Over an average couple of days, I will use technology to do my banking, shop for groceries, listen to music, catch up with the news, watch tv and chat to my friends.
There is nothing wrong with this, for me. Just like with diet and health, it is all about common sense and where necessary, moderation. It doesn’t need to be about turning everything off or giving something up entirely, but finding balance in all things – for the long term.
In the same way that you do not need to buy detox socks to draw impurities from your body through your feet (yes really) you don’t need to pay for a retreat or rush to extremes.
Just look at your habits. Reflect. For health, or for technology. If they are not helping you, make some small changes for the better. This is what makes those changes sustainable. Most diets and health regimes fail, often because the change is too much, too soon, or doesn’t work with our everyday lives over the long term. Turning off the tech for a while may help with us to reflect on our habits, but it also isn’t sustainable in our world today.
And if being constantly connected works for you, then don’t feel under pressure to change. Do what works for you, in all things.