Practical advice for learning to disconnect

“With digital, we tend to fill every second of our lives. We must succeed in reducing the sense of digital urgency. Waiting and being bored is important. It's okay to do nothing at all, ”says Laurie Michel. She offers concrete tips for developing healthy digital habits.

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Digital has never taken so much space in our lives. So much so that we sometimes forget that there is life without screens. Laurie Michel learned it the hard way. After coming close to exhaustion, she founded her own business in order to support people towards disconnection. She offers concrete tips to change her lifestyle.

“The overconsumption that we make of screens is not without risk for our health, physical and mental. Be careful, I do not especially want to demonize technology. This makes fantastic things possible. Nevertheless, we need to know the perverse effects in order to be able to put in place healthier life mechanisms ”, indicates Ms. Michel, founder of Vivala Offline.

According to her, it is possible to talk about excessive use when a person spends more than 4 hours a day on their mobile phone shopping online, consulting social media and being entertained. Obviously, this excludes hours spent working or studying online. In short, when we replace vital tasks with digital uses or when we spend all our free time there, it is time to ask questions.

“With digital, we tend to fill every second of our lives. We must succeed in reducing the sense of digital urgency. Waiting and being bored is important. It's okay to do nothing at all, ”she said.

How to change your lifestyle?

1- think

  • Take a look at their use of digital technology and pay attention to the repercussions of digital technology on their life; 
  • Ask yourself what makes me grab my phone (trigger) and find non-digital alternatives (going outside, playing sports, creative activities, cooking, etc.); 
  • Talk about it with those around you, think about it with them.

Ms. Michel proposes a quiz to test your relationship with the cell phone.

2- act

  • Adopt new digital habits: plan a time in the day to view and process your emails, disconnect completely at certain times (in the car, in the evening or on weekends);
  • Change your environment (determine prohibited areas: car, bathroom, bedroom, etc., cut the sound, create a bubble);
  • Plan activities to make sure you really drop out;
  • Get organized to let go.

3- do the housework

  • Sort the applications and delete those you are not using;
  • Revise its home page to keep the most useful applications on a daily basis;
  • Remove notifications that are not human;
  • Bring together professional applications;
  • Unsubscribe from newsletters that you do not read.

“It is possible to develop healthier habits, to learn to be efficient rather than busy. This requires discipline and rigorous daily management. Being too connected can lead to anti-productive practices. Multitasking is not always effective. We must give our brain time to rest. "

Laurie Michel presented a conference on the subject as part of the Digital November event.

His presentation is available online.

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About the Author

Martine Rioux
Martine Rioux
After studying public communication, Martine worked as a journalist for various publications, before pursuing her career as an interactive communications consultant at La Capitale, a financial group, then at Québec Numérique, an organization she took over as general manager before making the jump. as political advisor in the office of the Minister for Digital Government Transformation. Today she is the online Editor-in-Chief and Special Projects Manager at l'École branchée. Her dream: that everyone has access to technology and can use it as a tool for learning and opening up to the world.

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