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Life The ultimate guide to disconnecting: How to unplug from your phone this summer

This summer, buckle down and unplug with these tips and ideas to help you enjoy the season to the fullest.

How to disconnect …




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How to disconnect from your device

Find something else to do, and lean in

The idea of not having the time – to read more books, to cook a meal, to catch up with a friend – is bogus, writes Nathalie Atkinson. Find ways to reduce reasons to look at your phone (disable some notifications, set do-not-disturb periods) and turn your technology habits into better ones.

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How smart will smartphones get? A look at the possibilities

Experts agree it’s tough to predict exactly what the smartphone of 2029 will be like, but the prospects are both thrilling and creepy. If you needed any more reason to cut down on using your phone, this might be your push to start changing your habits before it becomes even more addictive.

Want to be more aware? Buy a watch

Have you ever grabbed your smartphone to check the time only to be inadvertently bombarded by notifications, and the feeling of stress that comes with them? The easiest way to disconnect is a surprisingly simple strategy: Wear a watch.

The answer to disconnecting might be on your phone

Need a helping hand to cut down on your screen time? There’s an app for that. These customized apps allow you to set up your own goals by cutting down slowly or going cold turkey.

I gave up my smartphone and I’ve never felt so free

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Jake Howell writes that buying a phone without smart capabilities felt healthier than the overwhelming iPhone he had been using, despite people thinking he was crazy.

Why I refuse to have the Internet in my home

Pasquale Casullo knows the Internet is necessary for survival, but he connects by disconnecting. He keeps a notebook to scribble topics to look up next time he’s online, either in a coffee shop or in a peaceful corner of a library during working hours.




iStockPhoto / Getty Images

How to disconnect from social media

Doing nothing will help our attention span

In her new book, How to Do Nothing: Resisting the Attention Economy, writer and artist Jenny Odell says we’ve lost our connection to our community and are living in an attention economy.

Sorry, Facebook, we don’t want to tell you what’s on our minds

Just because this couple didn’t share their engagement on Facebook, doesn’t mean it was a secret. But they didn’t want the whole Internet in on such a private moment.




Kurtis Chen/ODAMI

How to disconnect while dining

Unplug in the kitchen with a dish that requires no appliances

Chef Lina Caschetto surprised many when she told them she lived without a stove or a fridge in France. But it was fun, she writes, and inspired recipes like this tuna belly with raw artichokes, sundried olives and mint.

Why some restaurants are being designed so patrons put their phones away

À Toi, a lounge inspired by Parisian lobby bars from the 1920s, has a no-photos policy so guests can pay attention to the space, rather than whatever likes a photo of it may get on Instagram.




Illustration by Jiayin Lu

How to disconnect while travelling

Tips to limit your phone use on vacation

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Before you leave the house, read this quick list of ideas to help you get your phone out of your hand so you can make the most of your vacation.

The joys of exploring a destination with vintage guidebooks

Have you already replaced your travel guide with your smartphone? Don’t dismiss vintage guidebooks, which have delighted a segment of collectors for decades.

Dolce far niente: Learn the Italian art of doing nothing

Dolce far niente – the sweetness of doing nothing – is a soul-expanding celebration of doing nothing, something that’s actively discouraged in much of the world where the cult of “busy” is ubiquitous, Helen Russell writes in her book The Atlas of Happiness.

Forget Instagram. I’m back to sending postcards (with a twist)

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Akanksha Singh discovered the perfect way to stay in touch while traveling. A digital postcard is not just a method of communication, or an alternative to text or e-mail or social media. It’s a way to be engaged.

Can I enjoy my vacation if I’ve left my cellphone at home?

Heather Martin experienced a brief moment of panic when she realized she’d left on vacation without her cellphone. Four days with no text, no phone, no Google, no camera, no Instagram, no maps, no Uber, no e-mail.

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