Put down your smartphone and embrace National Unplugging Day! Today is dedicated to shutting down digital stress and disconnecting from the noise of social media. It isn’t an easy feat for most people, but if you’re up for locking your phone away 24 hours, you may want some success tips.
For a bit of insight into our national dependency on smartphones, an October 2022 research survey found that the average American uses their phone for over 5 hours each day. Most people check their phones an average of 96 times per day — that’s about once every 10 minutes — while two out of three of us check our smartphones 160 times daily. Wow!
Avoid technology for 24 hours, and you’ll complete the detox. Here’s how to celebrate the no-tech holiday based on your Enneagram personality type. These tips will give you small activities to try when you feel the urge to break your tech fast.
Type 1: Make a to-do list of hobbies and activities and get going.
If you’re an Enneagram Type 1, you thrive on getting things done better than anyone else. You’re a notorious overachiever who has your smartphone soldered to your palm for work or networking purposes, but you can put it down for a day if you distract yourself with other projects. So turn your cell phone off (or keep it locked inside a desk) and make a to-do list of things you can do without the help of technology.
Spend your day working on this to-do list. Reflect on what you’ve wanted to do but haven’t had time to do. Why don’t you try that new cookbook? Head to the store, get in the kitchen and make a dish you’ve never tried. Read a book that’s been gathering dust on your shelf. Start organizing your office or bedroom. Put on a special playlist and do some spring cleaning. The possibilities are endless.
Type 2: Distract yourself with quality time.
“The Giver” personality type likes to spend time with people and animals, so one of the best ways this type can disconnect is by engaging in some quality time. Type 2s stay connected with many people they care about online, but in-person is always their preference. As a Type 2 on a tech detox, try playing board games with family or friends or throwing a picnic in the park. At home, play with your pet or bake some yummy treats you can share with your neighbors, family or friends for a weekend care basket.
If you want to socialize, invite a friend over for a night in. Have fun figuring out how to pass the time without turning on the TV or checking your phone. Many Type 2 personalities enjoy gardening, too. If you have a garden, spend some time tending to your plants.
Type 3: Set little personal goals for yourself throughout the day.
Type 3 Achievers need to accomplish things, so keep yourself off your phone by writing down a small, actionable goals list throughout the day. It’s easier to stay offline if you make it a challenge, so try to use National Unplugging Day to start new habits or break personal records.
For example, see how long you can engage in a meditation session without getting distracted. Try a new yoga routine or get together with friends to play an outdoor sport. Track how much water you’re drinking. Try getting your whole vegetable quota in for the day. Read that self-help book you’ve been wanting to read.
Type 4: Arm yourself with creative tools and endeavors.
Promoting your artistic expressions on social media, editing photos on a laptop or connecting online with other creators is a thrilling way to pass the time, but Type 4s can benefit from a tech detox just like everyone else.
If you’re a Type 4, keep off your phone by hopping from creative project to creative project. Trust me, I know you (I’m a Type 4, myself!); you’ve probably got about 10 to 20 unfinished projects just waiting for your attention. Whether this is painting, writing, sculpting, collaging, playing an instrument, scrapbooking, drawing, or reading about a new craft you’re ready to try, you can watch the hours fly by if you battle your urge to reach for your phone with a creative pivot.
Type 5: Feed your intellectual mind.
If you are a Type 5, you’ll find it hard to stay away from technology because you love to tinker with computers and the sheer bottomless pit of intellectual wonder that is computation. But you can unplug if you spend some time pursuing your other intellectual loves. Since you’ve got an endless thirst for knowledge, there’s no better distraction than engaging in some intellectual hobbies.
Try the latest non-fiction books on your list or go to the library. At home, instead of grabbing your phone or computer, brush up on your trivia skills or find a board game or puzzle you can play solo or with your housemate. Type 5s are also quiet, thoughtful thinkers who like to spend moments deep in thought, so a little quiet time or meditation may be a great way to keep you from your phone. If all else fails, head to a local museum, where you can soak in the history around you.
Type 6: Engage in self-care.
Take a break from doom-scrolling and reading up on national safety issues. Yes, Type 6, you’re so concerned with security and safety that you often seek out content on these themes. The best way for you to succeed during a tech detox is to engage with your own community or spend some time doing self-care.
Take little moments throughout the day to check in with yourself. Try journaling check-ins. When you yearn for your phone, spend some time thinking about your life and what you could improve. Make a goal list with items you can achieve in the next week.
If you need more activities to keep you from technology, invite a trusted friend for a quiet dinner and drinks or engage in calming hobbies like meditation or painting. Read your favorite childhood book or listen to upbeat music and let loose.
Type 7: Find other sources of entertainment.
As a Type 7 “Enthusiast,” you’ll need plenty of entertainment to keep you away from your smartphone. Try to seek out fun activities you enjoy that don’t require a tech device. Trying new things is the best way to keep yourself entertained without technology.
For example, how about trying the new restaurant down the street or a new yoga routine? Working on your “to be read” list or planning where you’ll take your next weekend getaway? Sometimes, you find it hard to sit still, so you may want to walk your dog, ride a bike, or plan an evening out.
At night, check out a bar with an open mic, a theatrical performance or an improv group with a friend.
Type 8: Challenge yourself physically or mentally.
Type 8s must create experiences that make them feel strong. These leaders love nothing more than undertaking exercise-heavy hobbies. If you have time, go for a run, head to a new exercise class with a friend, or try a rock-climbing gym.
Easy things you can do at home to stay off your phone? Type 8s like to challenge friends to difficult games. Skip the video games and opt for a head-to-head battle of the wits, such as a game of classic “Battleship” or other strategy-based games. If you’re alone, start a goals list or plan an adventure to a thrilling locale.
Type 9: Create a peaceful atmosphere.
Enneagram Type 9s thrive in tranquil environments, so stepping away from technology may not be too difficult for you. Simply do more of what you’re doing already, and try to fill your empty moments with peaceful activities.
You don’t always take care of yourself when you’re focused on maintaining peace among others, so the little things can go a long way. A spa day, journaling, reading or listening to calming, meditative music can help create the mood you seek. Light some candles, eat food you love and think about positive things. You also love a nice conversation with a friend over a cozy dinner — if that’s your vibe, invite your best friend and pour the wine.
Unplug and enjoy!
The moral of the story is it may not be easy to remove yourself from the tech world or the internet. Still, you can benefit by engaging in otherwise neglected hobbies and activities. With an average of 5 hours of screen time (on a smartphone alone!), you may discover more meaningful moments when you leave your phone off. Good luck, and enjoy your day!