Why would you need digital detox? Do you experience digital burnout? After all, technology is truly amazing! In many ways, technology has been a blessing to the modern world. Nowadays, it’s easier than ever to stay connected with loved ones no matter how far away they might be. It’s quicker to get the latest news about the world around us. It’s more convenient to look up any information we might need at any given moment. You can even search the Word of God and all versions of the Bible on your smartphone.

The trouble with technology

As great as these benefits are, we can become overwhelmed and stressed out by technology—getting trapped by cell phone addiction. The social media that connects us can lead to comparing ourselves unfavorably to our peers. The news that rapidly comes to us can deliver doom and gloom that makes us doubt the blessings around us. And there are also many cases where we get bombarded with false information that can potentially shake our faith.

We might not notice it at first, but eventually we start to feel a little bit of digital burnout. The symptoms are very subtle. You begin by feeling more tired and bothered day by day. You might get more easily frustrated and stressed. Internally, you might even feel a general but persistent sadness in your heart and soul. Whatever the symptoms, there comes a point where you just need a break from it all.


Digital detox on purpose


Before we get into our own God-centered digital detox guide, let’s get one truth out of the way. For most people, it is probably impossible to completely disconnect and go offline for long periods of time. Whether it’s for work or personal use, some of us need to be online at least for a few hours a day. So, while we’re going to talk about a few great suggestions you can try, feel free to apply what works best for you and your situation.

The biggest thing to start with is your “why.” Why do you need a digital detox at this moment in time? Take time to list all the things you feel are issues. Be perfectly honest! Write down in detail what negative symptoms you are feeling and experiencing. Next, list what you want to achieve or experience when you undergo digital detox. This is a critical step because it is difficult to keep away from technology at times. Having a list to refer to will add a layer of purpose to keep you going when you feel tempted to just jump back into your smartphone.  Here are some practical things you can do to gain control of your digital devices rather than your devices controlling you.


1. Put your social media on pause


One of the most important things that you need to do to enjoy effective digital detox is to disconnect from social media. Many studies have touched on the addictive nature of social media in terms of seeking validation, sensory stimulation, and escaping from other responsibilities and tasks. Equally worth noting are the adverse effects like developing envy of our neighbors, fostering a self-deprecating self-image, exposure to negative and often false news and narratives, as well as taking us away from our genuine personal relationships.

That’s why the one thing you can’t ignore when going for a digital detox is to put your social media on pause. The simplest way to disconnect without necessarily deleting your accounts—which you might use to connect with loved ones—is to temporarily delete the apps off your smartphone. Make sure to let your loved ones know so they don’t worry. Perhaps also explain why you’re disconnecting and provide a different means to contact you if needed.


2. Enjoy the benefits of spending time in nature with God


Another great way to deal with digital burnout is to get outdoors in the fresh air to spend time in nature with God. While it’s ideal to go somewhere totally disconnected from the busy urban life—national parks, nearby forests, or camping areas—just immersing yourself in your local public park can be a gamechanger. While it’s helpful to be surrounded by the wonderful sights and sounds of God’s amazing Creation, the greatest benefit is to destress and reconnect with the Creator.

One of the best exercises that will complement an escape to nature is to bring the Word of God with you (make sure that it’s the physical Bible and not the one on your smartphone which you will hopefully leave behind). Here are some passages that you may wish to read in your Bible to reflect on:

  • Genesis 50:21
  • 2 Timothy 3:14
  • 1 John 3:19
  • Hebrews 10:22
  • Luke 2:10
  • Psalm 23:4

Of course, you can pick out your favorite passages and books of the Bible with the intention to spend meaningful time during your digital detox with God.


3. Get to reading physical media


Another proven ill effect of immersion in our smartphones (or tablets, TVs, computer screens, and the like) is strain on the eyes. Studies have found that prolonged exposure can cause eye strain, headaches, and even migraines. That’s why an essential aspect of digital detox is moving away from the glare of these screens for an appreciable amount of time. Like we discussed in the previous point, a physical Bible is a great alternative.


But you can also certainly dive into an uplifting physical book or even magazines. Of course, the key here is to avoid books and magazines with topics of discussion that might stress you out just as much as digital media. So go for publications that build up your character, discuss the beauty of nature, or nurture your relationship with God.  If some of the resources you like are online, make sure to print them out!


4. Connect with your family in real life

Lastly, never forget the healing power of family. A powerful cure for digital burnout is to focus on your family and loved ones spending time doing real life activities together. This will aid in the digital detox process by establishing stronger bonds of love and deeper connections that will help you through stressful times and build genuine and meaningful relationships. You can even spend time with your family immersing in nature with God as a more memorable means of getting together.


So, are you getting tired of being too controlled by technology? Then apply these useful tips to get you on track for a digital detox. Your best companion for this is a publication called Creation Illustrated—a physical magazine that provides amazing explorations of the wonders of nature, offers important insights for character development, includes Bible study material, and so much more—even healthful recipes and gardening tips. Choose to unplug and enjoy a non-electronic subscription the whole family will love and benefit from.


Check out a free copy or sign up for a subscription today!