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Digital Detox For Students: A Step-by-Step Guide


Digital detox for students is an interesting topic. On one hand, students have to spend time online. From e-learning to independent research, from homework to staying in touch with classmates, there is no way around it. On the other hand, they need to take breaks – or face burnout and stress, which tank academic performance.

If you’re a learner looking to detox from the internet, you’re probably worried it might impact your grades. With this in mind, we have prepared a step-by-step guide on how to kill two birds with one stone.

Step 1. Set Your Digital Detox Goal.

Decide how much time you as a student are willing to spend on digital detox and why. Do you want to de-stress after class? Do you want to get your homework (or cramming) done? Are you looking to improve your sleeping habits? These are some common digital detox goals, but yours might look very different.

We suggest you write them down.

For example,

I want to clear my head after class because it helps me get things done later in the day.

Step 2. Schedule Your Time Offline.

Look at your digital detox goal and decide where it’s going to fit into your schedule. Continuing our previous example, it might look something like this:

One hour offline right after class, Monday through Friday.

In this case, you could spend the hour taking a walk or socializing. You could also spend it studying. It fully depends on your definition of “clear my head” (Step 1).

Important! Contrary to the popular belief, students can stay productive while doing digital detox. Use screen-free wearables like Scripter to write essays and take notes. Voice tech is your ally.

Scheduling digital detox is important because it helps build a habit. Detox regularly, and your brain will get used to it.

Step 3. Adhere to the Plan (Using These Tips & Tricks).

The first few days are going to be the toughest. It’s called digital “detox” for a reason, and you’re going to crave some screen time.

If you do relapse, do not take it personally: just pick up where you left off.

Pro tip: Get your study buddies on board. If you do digital detox with other students, you build a powerful support network.

Here’s a few tips on how to avoid an impending relapse:

  • Change location. Switch your desk for an arm chair. Go outside. Study in the kitchen. The idea is to avoid places you associate with being online.

  • Work with your hands. Physical activity boosts your cognitive performanceand makes it harder to browse the net.

  • Talk to people. A good conversation will make you forget all about social media.

  • When you go to bed, leave the phone out of your reach.

Step 4. Adapt & Improvise.

You might find your initial plan obsolete, sometimes even after a week. College can be unpredictable, and that’s okay. There is no “right” way to do digital detox. Nothing is set in stone. It’s good to tweak your goals, move the time around, and try different things.

If you want to learn more about digital detoxing, try these:

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5 Signs You Need a Phone Detox


Even if you’ve never heard the term ‘phone detox’ before, you can probably tell what it means. Taking a break from using your phone to reduce its influence on your health, both mental and physical, is becoming increasingly popular – for a good reason.

Odds are you experience one of the following symptoms. If you do, consider detoxing from your phone by dedicating certain time (hours or even days) to living offline. You can use a voice-to-text recorder like Scripter to finish your projects without breaking the phone detox, so you can stay productive without staring at the screen.

1. Digital Eyestrain.

Eyestrain is often described as a slight burn, sometimes the “gritty” feeling of sand that’s not really there, soreness, or itching under your eyelids. Prolonged eyestrain results in headaches and blurred vision.

How does my phone cause it? It’s a combination of factors. First of all, a screen makes us stop blinking as often as needed, which makes the natural film of moisture covering the eye dry out. Second, a phone screen is too close for too long; the lens of your eye stays contracted and doesn’t relax. Third, if your screen it too bright, it can strain your eyes even more.

How can I fix it? The only way to fix eyestrain is to rest your eyes. Take breaks. Use voice input to minimize your screen exposure.

2. Trouble Focusing.

Another reason to do phone detox is a lack of focus. If you find yourself watching 20 seconds of a YouTube video, then switching to another one, then another one, then another one, your attention span has been damaged by the internet.

How does my phone cause it? Our brain is evolved to adapt. If we get used to information switching really fast, it adapts to that. But there’s a price: we lose the ability to focus on a single constant stream of information, such as a lecture or a long movie. Our brain develops the knee jerk impulse to switch.

How can I fix it? Your brain developed a short attention span to deal with the internet. You can make it adapt back. Pick up tasks that require long periods of focus. It could be reading, a craft, learning a language, or even exercise. Make them a habit, and make sure you don’t get distracted.

3. Trouble Falling Asleep.

A healthy person falls asleep within 15 minutes. Many people have trouble with that, and it’s not insomnia proper: they only toss and turn for an hour or so until they finally drift off. They also find it hard to get up in the morning.

And yes, this can be another symptom of too much screen time.

How does my phone cause it? Blue light makes your brain think it’s daytime and halts melatonin production. Additionally, reading news or texting can agitate you, which makes it harder to fall asleep. Eyestrain doesn’t help matters either.

How can I fix it? You guessed it, phone detox before bed. Health experts say 2 hours is enough to recover from blue light. (Pro tip: do not keep your phone on the bedside table; it helps resist the temptation.)

4. Dopamine Addiction.

Every time we perform a successful action, our brain releases a tiny burst of a chemical called dopamine. It makes us feel good. We crave another dopamine release, and it helps us stay motivated.

Smartphones make it so our source of dopamine is always at hand.

How does my phone cause it? Gaming apps, likes and dislikes, texting, even pressing a button makes brain release dopamine. We get addicted, and we know another dopamine release is just a click away. Although the addiction is purely psychological, it still makes it very hard to put away the phone.

How can I fix it? Take breaks from your phone. Limit your time playing games. Avoid fast-paced attention grabbers like TikTok.

5. Anxiety Alleviated by Phone Detox.

We all know what anxiety feels like. We know the short-lived anxiety you feel before a job interview and understand it’s normal. But long periods of anxiety are bad for your health.

Unfortunately, anxiety is on the rise around the globe. Many experts attribute this to our internet habits.

How does my phone cause it? A phone makes us expect another notification, whether we realize it or not. We browse bad news all day, even if most of them are irrelevant to our lives. Social media lower our self-esteem by displaying unrealistic pictures of success.

How can I fix it? Chronic anxiety is a serious concern, so it’s best to consult a health professional. However, you can make things easier for yourself. Do not engage with the content that upsets you. Avoid the media that deliberately posts shocking or fear-mongering news. Focus on your well-being.


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