Looking To Start a Digital Detox? There’s an App For That.

By Rachel Pannullo It’s been nearly a month since we counted down to midnight and vowed that we would follow through on our 2014 New Year’s resolutions.  As someone who works in social media marketing (and loves it), I am constantly connected. This year, like so many others, I resolved that 2014 would be the year that I disconnected at times and take back some well-deserved ‘me’ time. Well, I failed. So here I am, on January 23rd, hitting the reset button on my resolution and inviting you to join me on the my quest for (occasional) disconnection.  Below are a few apps, sites, and tips to help you disconnect more in 2014.

NO BRAINERS

1.     Put your phone down

Put it down. It’s that easy. You don’t have to do anything else. Put it down and don’t touch it. Seem impossible? Start with 10 minute sessions and add 5 more every day.

2.     Delete your mobile apps

Add an extra step . You can still access your social accounts via mobile browser, but the extra step will force you to think about what you’re doing.

FREE APPS

1.    LeechBlock

A Mozilla extension that blocks time-wasting websites, you can input a customized list of sites to block, and it’s free? Go forth and get it!

2.   RescueTime

By running securely in the background of your computer and mobile devices, this app tracks time spent on apps and websites and gives you a detailed report of daily activity. Set goals and get started!

PAID APPS:

1. Freedom

Spending more time on Facebook than finishing that report due later today? Enter: Freedom - software that blocks the internet entirely for up to eight hours. This one is not for the faint of heart. ($10)

2. Anti-Social

This app blocks social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube so you have to communicate with the people around you the old fashioned way – by talking to them. You’ll get the hang of it in no time. ($15)

Now that you are equipped with the proper tools, good luck with your digital detox! Social media plays an important role in our lives, so remember to reduce without completely turning off. The goal is to keep social media usage under control - not cut it off completely! It’s going to take some work on my part because, just like Madonna said, “We are living in a social media world and I’m a social media girl.” What? Oh, right. So that isn’t exactly what she said, but I bet Madonna would be happy if you shared this article with the person checking their Instagram across the dinner table from you.

Care to share your digital detox tips below?