Why Digital Detoxes Don't Work

March 18, 2019

People love ditching their phone for a few days and then gushing about how much more present and connected they felt without it. But Lifehacker says it's impossible to embark on a true digital detox.

Here's why: 

  • What is the point of a detox? The original point of a detox was that if you literally have a toxic substance in your body, you need to get rid of it. Our bodies do not accumulate a substance called “digital,” so this concept does not apply.
  • "Detoxes" only feel good because they’re vacations. To truly detox, you have to use your phone less while living your normal life, which is basically impossible, because your normal life probably depends a lot on your phone.
  • You can’t return to a phone-free life. You can turn off most of your notifications, and get in the habit of putting your phone down more often, but it’s highly unlikely that you will ever live a phone-free life full of fold-out road maps and encyclopedias. 
  • FOMO is a feature, not a bug. The anxiety we feel from constantly checking/ wanting to check our phone is built in to the app and phone experience itself. It’s a design feature, not a flaw. There is no completely healthy, anxiety-free way to use a smartphone. 

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