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Well it’s that time of year again folks… time to crack open the wallet and start shopping for our near and dear ones. I’ll bet you think that Christmas shopping and digital detox do not align too closely… well you’d be surprised. Here’s a list of digital detox-promoting gifts, some practical, some original and all guaranteed to promote a healthier relationship with technology along with peace and clarity of mind.
A Paper and Pen
Notebooks, sketchbooks and journals are wonderful gifts that most of us haven’t thought of in a few years. My personal favorite is a day-planner for the whole year. A great companion item is a set of cute pens or colorful highlighters. One of the best things about these gifts is that you can give them again and again if you find that your gift really clicks with someone.
Cell Phone Accessories
Cell phone cases that protect one from radiation without inhibiting your cell reception? Yes they do exist and, in fact, they are scientifically tested and proven and come in an enormous variety of sizes and colors. Cell phone cases get so much wear and tear that a new case is the perfect thing to perk up an old device. My favorite cell phone case company is SafeSleeve. In addition to phone cases they also sell laptop shields, ear pods and a variety of products to reduce the radiation from digital devices.
Bagby Phone Bags and Alarm Clocks
Bagby is a small business that has designed a “sleeping bag” for one’s phone, so that you can keep it in a designated spot at designated times. They make cell phone bags to hang on your bedroom door if you’re doing a Phone-Free-Bedroom-Challenge and bags to hang in classrooms, family areas and even at your desk.
Bagby also designed a simple alarm clock with a gentle (but loud enough!) beep for the Phone-Free-Bedroom-Challenge community. Unlike most alarm clocks this one is digital-free so it does not sync to your other devices, track your sleeping hours or snoop through your Spotify playlist.
Just buying any book can be a pretty big gesture nowadays. But one of the easiest, speediest reads I’ve come across is The Dopamine Detox by Thibaut Meurisse. It’s a fabulous gift, great conversation piece and a very important message. I love to keep an extra copy or two in my cupboard in case I get to talking about it with friends. Chances are one of my friends will go home clutching a copy that I will never see again. And that’s the idea.
You know that awkward feeling when you are trying to show someone a photo on your phone? Yeah, the photo-on-phone concept worked great for the long-distance family and the Facebook friends but now you’re sitting around on Christmas Day with all the family in person and you’re trying to tell a story and add an illustration. It takes about 3 minutes to find the photo and by the time you’ve found it someone has started a different story. But even so, once you find it you hold your phone up into your family members’ faces. You walk it over to your great-aunt and show it to her even though she’s never looked at a phone in her life, and then you wonder if you should also try to show it to the teenager on the couch buried in his own phone. Maybe a bit more awkward than the photo album concept, would you agree?
Making a photo book or album is a great way to unearth the photos trapped in the digital world. And most companies that specialize in photo books can suggest a variety of photo-related gifts from calendars to Christmas ornaments to coffee mugs.
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At the end of the day you should be able to assemble a sleigh load of digital detox related gifts. Compare this with the digital gifts that are so much less accessible than they used to be… CDs and DVDs were stellar gifts when I was a kid, not to mention a good book. But now Spotify, Apple Music, Amazon Prime, YouTube and Audible have taken over these platforms so that unless you are the lucky person to gift the subscription most people will say that they don’t need a movie, a book or an album.
Luckily the digital detox gifts will be novel and new and help each and every one of us feel a little bit more human this Christmas. Check below for my FULL list of ideas!
21 Gift Ideas to Encourage Digital Detoxing
Blue-light screen protector
Radiation-reducing ear pods
Stationary (Pro tip: buy stationary for yourself too and write them a note; then they’ll be more likely to write you back)
Fun writing utensils
Puzzles (a puzzle can be an eye-catching, dopamine-spiking activity; gather around and chat with family or friends while you’re working on it)
A great novel
A great self-help book
A great information book (Buy someone a book about something they’ll love: history, cooking, fashion, science, etc. This is a thoughtful gift because it proves that you know what interests them.)
Arts and crafts kits (If you buy someone a kit to make something make sure it’s really something they’ll enjoy making, not just the first item you see in Hobby Lobby)