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#Unplug: The 4 Biggest Temptations To Replug During Your Digital Detox

This week, we’re helping you prepare for a digital detox. But before you #unplug, it’s best to prepare yourself for the questions typically answered by your device, the web, or an app: How will I get in touch with people if I don’t have my phone? What’s the best way to find a good restaurant without searching Yelp? Where the hell am I?

It’s at these moments that you will be tempted to use. The good news is that there’s a way to prepare for the urge to re-plug by identifying then remembering what, exactly, you want to #unplug from.

For his 25-day detox, comedian and author Baratunde Thurston didn’t want–or need–to abandon the Internet completely. Not every aspect of digital life was problematic. It’s the web, not, like, crack.

“I love, depend on, and frankly am made a better human being by the convenience of streaming movies, online food ordering, and Google Maps. I did not want to sever ties with friends; in fact, one of my goals was to strengthen relationships with pre-Facebook pals. I wanted to go to lunch, attend holiday parties, and host people for dinner. So I decided I could use my phone for personal calls and texts, and could schedule these encounters with Google Calendar.”

But social media (“including, but not limited to, seeing, reading, downloading, syncing, sending, submitting, posting, pinning, sharing, uploading, updating, commenting, tagging, rating, liking, loving, upvoting, starring, favoriting, bookmarking, plus-oneing, or re-anythinging”) and business activities were prohibited.

To decide what you want to take a break from, first take inventory. “Start by keeping a time long,” suggests Kimberly Young, founder and director at the Center for Internet Addiction Recovery.

“What are the activities you do, and when do you do them? Then once you get that inventory, that in and of itself will probably be enlightening. You can start prioritizing what you can cut out. What is it you really don’t need?”

Then, create a list of things you’d like to accomplish while away, as any mission is best executed when there are goals in mind. “I concocted a wish list of activity for my disconnected time,” says Thurston. “It was a pleasure to contemplate places to visit in New York, books to read, and people with whom I wanted to spend some quality time.”
Once you’ve decided what to give up, and what to do during your #unplug, it’s time to dive in. Here are some of the temptations you should be prepared to deal with, and how to go around them:

I’m Bored

Start journaling: “Use a pencil and a pad and write what you’re feeling. Take a moment to be introspective… why is this a problem? What’s really happening? Do you feel a loss of connection?” -Kimberly Young

Get a hobby (or a pet): “Commit to something outside the office, away from digital responsibilities. I haven’t had a hobby outside of my job for nearly 10 years. So I took a few drastic measures. First, I got a dog. Which I’ve always wanted, but I knew it would force me to get outside, walk and unplug. Second, I joined my co-worker Amy Azzarito in signing up for adventurous classes like Aerial Silks and skateboarding. It’s hard to work your iPhone when you’re dangling from the air.” –Grace Bonney, founder of Design*Sponge

“I have to get up, turn off the laptop and start playing with my cat. Just wander around and engage in some mindless cat-play.” –Alexis Ohanian, Reddit

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Mystic Maggie

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