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Woman Ditched Her Smartphone for a Year and a Half and Felt 'Much More in Flow'

"I never expected it would be for such a long time. I was just planning to do it for a few weeks, but I liked it," she said.
Cover Image Source: A Nokia 3310 model | Masood Aslami | Pexels
Cover Image Source: A Nokia 3310 model | Masood Aslami | Pexels

Digital detox can be extremely important today. Anastasia Dedyukhina realized the same when she spent much time on her smartphone, working in digital marketing. It all got to a point where she was no longer able to distinguish if she was the product or if she was selling one. She soon decided to step away from her smartphone for a year and a half. "I never expected it would be for such a long time. I was just planning to do it for a few weeks, but I liked it," she tells CNBC Make It.

She says the transition was not simple and it took her more than four months to commit to her decision. She later gifted the smartphone to her mother and switched to a feature phone or "dumb phone" with buttons and no touchscreen, so she could still take calls. 

 Pixabay | Pexels
Different cell phone models (representative image) | Pixabay | Pexels

After a year and a half, Dedyukhina says she feels "much more in the flow and had more mental energy." In the process, Dedyukhina realized that many things had become tedious without the smartphone, especially planning things. Moreover, she had to keep reminding her friends and family that she no longer had a smartphone and was not reachable on social media. She also talked about how getting somewhere became more difficult without the GPS. Thankfully, Dedyukhina was living in London at the time — a place with maps displayed all around.

On the bright side, she realized that he had started talking to people on the streets and had also become observant and took in all the little details of her environment, so much so that she ended up starting her own venture and writing a book. She soon left her digital marketing job and started her company, Consciously Digital, where she worked as a digital well-being expert. During her time away from the digital realm, she also penned a book on how to develop a strong relationship with technology and make it better in the process.


"I mean whether I would do it again," Dedyukhina says about ditching her smartphone, "Probably, but I like to be reasonable and down-to-earth."  "Sometimes [I] do need maybe like a few days," she says. "Just swapping your smartphone for a dumb phone for two [to] three days can be very liberating."

According to reports by California State University, it was seen that around 10% or 33.19 million Americans are currently addicted to social media. Moreover, young social media users aged 18 to 22 account for a shocking 40% of all Americans who are addicted to social media. The study also shed light on the dangerous effects of this addiction, with 70% of teens reporting that they felt left out or excluded when using social media. 


With so much going on today, it almost feels impossible to let go of our devices. However, there are signs by which you can tell if you need to step away from the digital world for a brief period, and if you ever come across any of these, it would be a good decision to step away from the internet for a while. Some signs are pretty upfront like the urge to constantly check your phone or notifications as soon as they pop up. Other signs can be more insidious like the sadness and anxiety that creep in from comparing yourself with others on social media.