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Digital Detox Day - Q&A with Zoe Sugg

Digital Detox Day is a campaign set-up between mental health organisation #IAMWHOLE, Zoe Sugg and Lush. The campaign raises awareness about the negative impact social media can have on our mental health, and helps people to form healthier relationships with their devices. Here, Content Creator and best selling author, Zoe Sugg, gives us her thoughts on why taking a break from social media on Digital Detox Day is more pertinent than ever.

 

How did you first get involved with the Digital Detox Day campaign?

I initially approached LUSH as they're one of my all-time favourite brands, I've been a fan of theirs since I was a teenager and I always admired the charity campaigns and human rights work they carry out. Very early on we knew we wanted to do something to help Mental Health Charities and we started work on the IRL bath bomb. Meanwhile, Hilary (Ethics Director) met Matt Campion (co-founder of IAMWHOLE) at the House of Commons and quickly got talking about what LUSH could do for Mental Health. It seemed like such a natural fit to bring all our conversations together and get working on a campaign that would not only raise much-needed funds for grassroots mental health charities but also look at our relationship with social media and see what we can do to promote a more positive digital experience. So Digital Detox Day and all of the amazing components going into this campaign were born at LUSH HQ after lots of fantastic discussions and plenty of doughnuts! 

What is Digital Detox Day?

Digital Detox Day is a chance for everybody to switch off and spend their day ‘IRL’ with their friends (socially distanced of course!) doing an activity they enjoy but often put off, spending time away from our devices and to encourage people to set boundaries for how much time they’re spending online. So much research and studies have shown that spending too much time on social media can be so bad for our mental health, depression, anxiety, loneliness, sleeplessness to name a few. So it’s about making people aware of how much time they’re sending online and being able to put those boundaries in, as well as focusing on what makes us happy, and fuelling our minds with something that isn’t digital. 

What was your inspiration behind the IRL bath bomb you created with LUSH?

My main inspiration behind this bath bomb was sunsets. A sunset for me is pure relaxation, escapism, a time in my day where I’m the most relaxed and usually a more serene time of day too. The sky on a summer evening during sunset is always so beautiful and something that usually sparks a lot of joy amongst so many people. I’ve captured a few sunsets myself, living in Brighton we get some amazing ones! I then got together with Mark and Jack on a few occasions in the LUSH labs in Poole and had so much fun conjuring up the perfect ballistic! We incorporated all our favourite colours of the most epic sunsets and wanted users of the bath bomb to experience the sun setting as they were bathing so it goes from the early stages of a sunset with yellow and orange and then moves into the beautiful purple of twilight which comes just after a sunset, so users can experience the full thing from their tub. In terms of the scents, we wanted to make sure neroli was in there as it’s a fragrance that is known to be very beneficial for anxiety and sleeplessness and we wanted all the fragrances in the bath bomb to come together for a lovely night time, relaxing scent. Money from the IRL bath bomb will be going into a fund, that grassroots mental health organisations can apply for. 

 

Why is having a digital detox so important to you?

Digital Detoxes are something that I try and do from time to time. Sometimes I can find myself endlessly scrolling and consuming so much that I feel like my brain can’t retain any more information and that’s when I know I’m overdoing it. Setting boundaries on who you follow, what content you consume, how that content makes you feel. Do you always feel positive when you come away from social media or is it something that largely negatively impacts you? All these things are good to question and I think it’s healthy especially in this day and age, that we’re all taking the time and stepping away from our devices to give us that space we probably don’t realise we need.

How can people get involved with Digital Detox Day?

To get involved with Digital Detox Day, on the 4th of September simply post a photo to your feed with a circle on your hand and within that circle the words OFF, to share with your followers and friends. We’re then asking people to switch off on the following day which is the 5th of September. I also think it’s important that people share the resources, links, helplines and suicide prevention lines and anything else that people might find useful, as well as sharing the campaign videos. The more people that see these videos the more people will join the campaign, the more people we’ll help, the more people who’ll feel less alone and the more money we’ll raise through the IRL bath bomb for mental health charities.

Where can people go to get further resources and information on Digital Detox Day?

If you head to the IAMWHOLE website or the IAMWHOLE social media channels. I’ll also be posting resources across my Instagram account which is @ZoeSugg and they’ll also be content going up on @Zoella as well. 

What will you be doing on Digital Detox Day?

I don’t know what my plans are yet but I’m sure it will involve lots of games, hopefully a roast, a walk along the beach and some reading!

Do you have any top tips on how to create more positive habits around your use of social media and digital devices?

Yes! 

  1. Set yourself boundaries - Give yourself a limited amount of time on your apps, if you’re using an iPhone you can set up usage alerts. 

  2. Try to start and end your day without looking at your phone - Head downstairs, grab a glass of water make your bed, make your breakfast, get ready for the day and THEN look at your phone. I always have this awful habit of opening my eyes and reaching straight for my phone, scrolling away and realising I have no time to get ready. I think it’s really nice to start your day and end your day without your phone. I’ve been told that to have the best night’s sleep, leave your phone outside your room! I know you might be saying ‘what do I do about my alarm’ well my friend, buy an alarm clock! As hard as that sounds it’s a proven method and if you struggle to sleep the less blue light you consume before bed the better. Although it sounds wild to be leaving your phone outside to the room try it for a week and you’ll notice a difference!

  3. Tailor who you’re following on social media - Get comfortable with the unfollow and mute button if somebody is making you feel anything less than inspired or confident remove them from your feed. You do not need to be following people to keep them happy you need to be following people to make YOU happy. Make yourself the priority. Make the content you’re consuming worth consuming.

  4. Check-in on your friends I real life - Don’t rely on their stories or posts to keep up with them or what they’re doing in their day, social media is always and WILL always be someone’s highlight reel and they will never say how they’re feeling by showing the ins and outs of their 24 hour day. It’s so important to stay connected with people in real life and not through Instagram posts!

  5. Think before you type - This one goes for everyone! I think we’re all a little guilty sometimes of typing something without really thinking about it and I think if we all took 10 seconds to consider if a comment is constructive or helpful or if it’s just plain mean or rude the internet would be a nicer place to be. I also think sometimes if you’ve seen something online that makes you feel angry or bad about something, put the phone down, step away, go and pour yourself a drink, read a book, run a bath or whatever helps you relax rather than reacting too quickly without thinking it through. Being online it’s much easier to type without thinking and then you can get yourself into a mess.

  6. Treat your accounts like your home - It is YOUR space on the internet, you decide what is and isn’t allowed, who is allowed in and who isn’t. If someone is misbehaving in your house, you have every right to ask them to leave, block remove or delete. It’s your space and you can make it whatever you want it to be it is not up to anyone else to decide that for you, you are in charge, that’s it!
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