Shut It Down: A Digital-Detox Plan for the Holidays


Two Thanksgivings ago, I turned off my phone — for five days. My social life and academic deadlines were stressing me out, and I decided to reboot. I’m the kind of person who considers her phone an extension of her hand, so losing text and e-mail was a bit like having an adult time-out. I felt phantom buzzes. I dreamed about my friends cutting me off forever for not responding to their messages. But in the end, I felt refreshed (and very popular) when I turned my phone back on and saw dozens of texts and e-mails from people who apparently missed me.

While I finished my college thesis, I set a blocker that kept me off social-media sites for eight hours. And once I even asked a friend to change my password when I went through a breakup and didn’t want to see what my ex was doing on

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