5 signs you need a digital detox

It was reported in the news recently that Simon Cowell hasn’t touched his phone in ten months. In a bold move to improve his mental wellbeing he has literally given up his phone in favour for a more focused, more present existence.

Now that’s all well and good for Mr Cowell who has a team of folk doing all his business and life admin, but perhaps we could all take a little something from his life choices. I can’t help but lately feel like the phones are taking over…

One of the places to observe phone obsession at it’s peak is at the side of a swimming pool during lesson time. I had a bit of a moment a year or so ago, when amongst the dozens of parents staring at their screens whilst their kids made huge progress in learning to swim right n front of them, was a single guy smiling watching the swimming. He was probably a Grandad (I hope so anyway) and was taking so much pleasure from watching the kids, whilst a generation around him were lost in a different place. Despite this, and knowing what’s best, somehow the pull of a quick scroll still seems all too tempting…

It’s a strange old era we are living in, and one that ultimately has to change going forward. Word has it that major companies like Apple are starting to encourage a reduction in mobile phone use, and it’s not hard to see why.


One of the most cutting ways your kids can tell you you’re using your phone too much, is when they mimic you in play. Ugh, it’s not a pretty sight to see a three year old acting out what they see. Or worst still when they actually tell you to “Stop staring at your boring old phone”. Who can blame them for wanting in on the action, and if and when they get their hands on it, and zone out for far longer than you feel comfortable with, the message is all to clear to see.

Free stock photo of love, summer, girl, cute

I got the power

If a spare battery pack has suddenly become a permanent feature in your handbag, then you have to stop and ask yourself how and when did this happen – that the loss of battery be an emergency situation to be avoided at all costs and prevented by any means. You kid yourself it’s for an emergency, but honestly, is it ‘the fear’ of being phoneless that you are trying to avoid?

Free stock photo of hand, smartphone, charging, technology

Identifying the cause of the fault

Going one step further than carrying the spare battery pack, if you have gone as far as to question the battery life on your phone, contacted a technical support or popped into your phone store to ask why your battery is sooooo rubbish, perhaps the answer is staring you right in the face. Is the problem really the life of the battery, or the person draining that power a little too often?

Person Holding Phone Taking Picture of Served Food

You’ve used up your data for this month

When you took out that phone plan, the guy in the store swore you’d struggle to ever use up that data allowance. However, somehow, as time has rolled by, those messages warning you you’ve used up 80%, then all of your data, requiring an all too pricey top up have appeared AGAIN. Another sure fire sign my friend that the old scrolling the net has been a bit on the heavy side this month. I blame instagram stories.

Free stock photo of person, hands, woman, smartphone

Fashion choices for the phone obsessed

If you have found yourself cursing your outfit for it’s lack of phone storage solutions, then you my friend, like me, have probably got issues. Jeans without back pockets cause me a bit of an issue and I’ll be tapping on my bum like the woman in the ASDA advert all day long. I hate to admit it, but I hate being too far away from my phone.


Suddenly Simon Cowell’s idea of going phoneless seems quite refreshing, but the reality is that for most of us, that isn’t practical. Whether you stand by your phone usage for business purposes, camera function (my biggy), emergency contact, or frankly just the occasional contact with the outside world and escapism from where you are the fact is many of us couldn’t go phone free.

That said, I know in my heart of hearts I, like many of us, need to make some changes.

That’s why this week, instead of using the 15 minute window between school and nursery to post my first instagram of the day, I played eye spy with my daughter. I promise I will never start work again before dropping off my littlest daughter. In all honesty, I feel pretty grim at myself for how I have made this an unhealthy habit, as she rattles around in the car pulling it to bits, while I’m zoned out staring at my screen.

I also uploaded an app called forest which is aimed to help you restrict usage of your phone by setting time constraints, in which a seed grows into a tree. When enough trees are grown, the app even plants a real tree. How amazing is that. I’m sad to say since installing it in April I’ve grown just one little tree.

Forest icon

I’ll put my phone away when it’s time to play, and times when I actually DON’T need it. Bath times, meal times, bedtimes should totally be a phone free zone – that goes for both of us Dad Muddling Through.

And I’ll try and embrace the moments more, instead of worrying about capturing them.



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16 thoughts on “5 signs you need a digital detox

  1. emptynestmummy Reply

    I’m quite new to twitter and, well, to Social Media in general. But I have to say that I am fast becoming hooked on twitter. It’s so easy to get embroiled in twitter banter for too long. I will try harder to not look when I’m with the kids. I love the tree app; might well give that a try. #coolmumclub

  2. motherhoodtherealdeal Reply

    Lol I used up all my data last month and in fact it was the best thing that happened to me as it was an enforced digital detox when out and about and I even packed a book in my bag instead – old school! Maybe we could send up a #coolmuclub digital rehab clinic for addicted bloggers lol xoxo

  3. Treasure Every Moment Reply

    So very true! I certainly need a digital detox – it just takes some willpower to actually do one! #coolmumclub

  4. viewfromthebeachchair Reply

    Looking forward to unplugging this summer for a few weeks. I am going to enjoy life in the 3D! #coolmumclub

  5. The Squirmy Popple Reply

    I feel SO guilty when my daughter says, “Mummy, put your phone away!” It makes me realise how terrible it is that I can spend more time looking at it then at her. While going phone-free is never going to happen, I agree a bit less phone time would do us all a bit of good. #coolmumclub

  6. Charlotte Stein Reply

    I’m terrible for posting on instagram at the times where I should be focused on the kids. I have recently dared to post at the supposedly ‘wrong” times in insta, so I can be more present, as really does it really matter if I’m 1/2 an hour behind everyone else! I wish I could have a detox but I know that I will then realise I miss it, and that I’m more hooked then I realised

  7. kirsty Reply

    Over recent months I have once again slipped into social media world. I had stepped away a bit, but it is difficult as a blogger not to do it and once you start…. I love the idea of the Forest App. I am off to download it now and try to avoid a quick look at instagram whilst I am there #coolmumclub

  8. Calvin Reply

    A break from tech is sometimes needed for better overall wellbeing

  9. Tracey Abrahams Reply

    I try and get a good balance with my phone use. At home during the week i am unashamedly on it almost 24/7 but if I’m out and about with mr A then I can go without it (although we are that couple who stare at our phones in the pub )


  10. absolutely prabulous Reply

    It really has become an ugly habit, the whole phone usage thing. We were at the cinema today and during the intermission (yes we still have those in Malta!), I looked around to find the WHOLE row of people behind me on their phones. And I count how many times I’ve gone our for a family meal and seen entire tables of people on their phones at the meal. Why did they bother going out?! But I’m afraid for as long as we continue blogging, my friend, our phone won’t be far from our paws. #coolmumclub

  11. Lisa Pomerantz Reply

    I detoxed over vacation and it felt SO GOOD! I will check out this app, although I am pretty good once I set my sights on something. I don’t use the phone at home except for the camera and my kindle… Great advice all around! #coolmumclub xoxo

  12. Lisa Pomerantz Reply

    OMG, I love that app! I just looked at it. Downloading in minutes! YOU ROCK! xoxoxo Just think of all the money I will save my kids in therapy bills! 🙂 xoxo #stayclassymama xoxo

  13. Cheryl / Tea or Wine (@cherylebarry) Reply

    I hear you. I’m making a massive effort not to use my phone all the time and take plenty of breaks from it. I went over my data usage last week so had to enjoy a phone free zone for a couple of days (until I was home and had wi-Fi!). Definitely something we all need to be mindful of! #CoolMumClub xx

  14. We x Reply

    Oh I completely agree with this. I have such a love/hate relationship with my phone. I definitely use it so much more now that I’m a blogger but I hate how much time I waste scrolling when I could be playing with the kids xx #coolmumclub

  15. Liberty on the Lighter Side - (LoLS) Reply

    I think that point about your battery not lasting long enough because the phone is being used too much is so obvious but how many of us have realised this?? It is sad that more and more we are not living in the present and parents are tempted to be on their phones more than watch their kids experience life. Congratulations on having your post selected by another blogger to be featured on the #blogcrush linky. Feel free to pop over and claim your ‘I’ve been featured’ badge

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