Digital Detox Challenge: Half of us say we’re addicted to our phones

Could you survive 24 hours without any technology?

Kate Reynolds
Outreach Specialist
Read More
August 27, 2022
15 min read

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How often do you check your phone? Do you find yourself mindlessly scrolling through social media? Does Netflix regularly ask you 'are you still watching?' while you're binging your favourite series?

It might be time for a digital detox.

It's easier said than done, though. Technology is part of our modern lives, whether it's for work, school, socialising, games, or the endless scrolling of social media and streaming TV shows and movies online, so we wanted to provide some extra incentive for one tech-loving Aussie to take a 24-hour break from the online world.

Yep, Reviews.org has $2,400 to give to one screen addict to complete our Digital Detox Challenge - we have a feeling someone out there needs a break.

Do you need a digital detox?

We asked Aussies to tell us about their relationships with their phones. According to our survey:

  • More than half of Aussies consider themselves addicted to their phones.
  • Despite this, only 38% of respondents say they've ever attempted any kind of digital detox.
  • Furthermore, only 32% of us set any kind of screen limits to reduce our screen time.

So if you're one of the 51% of Aussies who say they're addicted to their phones, and you reckon you can survive 24 hours without any technology (and wouldn't mind getting paid $2400 for it) then apply below for Reviews.org Digital Detox Challenge 2022.

person holding a mobile phone while working on a laptop. Photo by Maxim Ilyahov on Unsplash

So, what's the challenge?

Glad you asked!

For 24 hours, you need to go completely tech-free. That means no: 

  • Smartphones
  • TV
  • Streaming
  • Gaming Consoles
  • Smartwatch
  • Fitness Trackers
  • Smart Home devices (like Smart Speakers or Robot Vacuums)

Reckon you can handle it?

After the challenge, we ask that you submit screen time reports to prove that you truly went a full 24 hours without your tech, and to provide feedback on the challenge.

As the digital detox contender, you’ll have to go a full 24 hours without any technology. You’ll have 14 days from accepting the challenge to pick a day that works for you, so you don’t have to skip uni or work (unless you want to).

What you do in the meantime (without your tech to save you) is up to you. We'll even flick you a $100 Amazon voucher so you can buy a few tech-free essentials. Maybe some books, a jigsaw puzzle - the choice is yours.

If you make it through the 24 hours, we'll pay you $2400!

...no technology, at all?

We're not monsters. Lighting, heating, air-conditioning and microwaves are all fair play.

Why should I apply?

Jasmine was averaging about 11 hours per day of screen time on her mobile. She was our digital detoxer last year and set out to complete her challenge on Saturday, April 24th 2021. She said, "If you want to learn how much you really rely on technology, I would recommend trying this."

The digital detox got her to break out of her screen time habits and try something new to pass the time.

"I read an entire book (an entire book in a day! That’s something I haven’t done in years) and played board games. It was fun, satisfying and I felt a real sense of accomplishment afterwards."

So if you feel you could benefit from a few days with no screen time, then this challenge is for you.

How do I apply?

If you’re 18 or older and eligible to work in Australia, you can and should apply!

Applications close at 9:00 am AEST on September 29th 2022.

(psssst - make sure you check your spam folder for your confirmation email).

How will I know if I'm chosen?

We’ll be announcing the digital detox challenger through our social media pages on September 30 so be sure to check our Facebook page and TikTok account to stay updated!

The winner will also be contacted via email after the announcement and will have seven days to accept or decline the offer.

What if I don't get selected?

Hey, just because you don't get selected as our Digital Detoxer this year, doesn't mean you can't still challenge yourself to a digital detox and reap the benefits.

We chatted to Peter Smith and Athil Singh from Happy Buddha Retreats , who run silent meditation retreats in Sydney's Blue Mountains that areyou guessed it technology-free. They said there's a multitude of reasons why people are drawn to a screen-free weekend.

"People book a tech-free retreat at Happy Buddha because they want to reconnect, to unwind, to unravel from the frenetic, always-on pace the modern world demands of us with our phones. At our Journey to Stillness retreat instead of checking your phone - because you don't have it - you can sit by the fire, watch the sunrise, make a cup of tea, follow the chickens scratching around the earth, paint, do a jigsaw puzzle, sit under a waterfall, savour silence and stillness, meditate, calm your nervous system, like, just let go, relax, reconnect." Peter - who is one of the key facilitators  - explained, adding that retreat-goers feel the difference after going screen-free for a few days.

"The main feedback we receive from participants after they've completed the retreat is an overwhelming sense of calm; a space in their mind they'd forgotten existed. People feel like they can find new ways to curb their phone use. They find an inner strength and peace of mind that is greater than the sugar hit they get from picking up their phone."

Athil, Happy Buddha's founder adds to this. "[Participants] wish they could do it for longer, they feel rejuvenated and not looking forward to turning their phone back on."

And if you feel that you would find the experience challenging, Athil says you're not alone, but that you shouldn't be afraid of giving it a go.

"Any people [who complete the retreat] that think they would struggle, or initially struggle [during the retreat] end up loving the extra time and freedom which they experience."

a steaming cup of tea with an owl on the mug

Tips for a digital detox

Happy Buddha also offers some tips for a DIY digital detox to help reduce your screen time. They suggest:

  • Setting your phone to 'do not disturb' mode at night time, so that your evening routine and sleep are not interrupted by screens and notifications.
  • Turn off your WiFi when you're not using it.
  • Try and develop a morning routine where you perhaps enjoy a coffee or tea, do some yoga stretching and get ready for the day before you check your phone or flick on the TV.

Terms and conditions

  1. The organiser of this Digital Detox Challenge (Promotion) is Clear Link Technologies, LLC, whose principal place of business is located at 5202 W. Douglas Corrigan Way, Salt Lake City, Utah 84116 United States of America (Reviews.org). Valid applications will go into the running to be selected to complete a 24 hour challenge to go without technology. If the Successful Applicant is able to complete the Challenge in accordance with these Terms and Conditions the Successful Applicant will receive a A$100.00 gift card and A$2,400.00 cash (Prize Package). No substitutes for the Prize Package will be given.
  2. The application process is open to persons over the age of 18 who are ordinarily resident in Australia only. Employees (and their immediate family members) of Reviews.org or agencies associated with this Promotion are ineligible to enter. In these Terms and Conditions, an immediate family member means any of the following: spouse, ex-spouse, de-facto spouse, child or step-child (whether natural or by adoption), parent, step-parent, grandparent, step-grandparent, uncle, aunt, niece, nephew, brother, sister, step-brother, step-sister or 1st cousin.
  3. Citizens of or located in the European Economic Area or the United Kingdom are not eligible to Participate in the Promotion due to the application of the General Data Protection Regulation and related laws.
  4. The Promotion commences on 29 August 2022, and applications must be received by Reviews.org before 9:00am (AEST) on 29 September 2022 to be considered (Promotional Period).
  5. Route to application for the Promotion and details of how to enter are available via https://www.reviews.org/au/technology/digital-detox-challenge-2022/ (Promotional Website). Individuals may apply by clicking on the participation link on Reviews.org's website. Upon clicking the participation link, Applicants will be asked to provide their name, contact information, age and residency status so that Reviews.org can determine eligibility of the Applicant for the Promotion, and to notify the Successful Applicant of the result. Applicants will also be asked to provide a submission as to why they feel they are the right person to attempt the Challenge.
  6. There is no application or entry fee, and there is no purchase necessary to apply for the Promotion. Any purchase or consideration otherwise given by Applicants will not improve the chance of a person being selected as the Successful Applicant.
  7. The cost of accessing the Promotional Website, including via a mobile phone, will be dependent on the Applicant’s individual Internet Service Provider, at the Applicants cost. Applicants should contact their mobile phone plan provider to ensure this data usage is available within their plan if they are unsure.
  8. Incomprehensible or incomplete applications will be deemed invalid. Reviews.org may, in its absolute discretion, deem that any application is invalid and such application will not be considered by Reviews.org as part of the Promotion.
  9. Multiple applications by an individual are not permitted.
  10. Reviews.org reserves the right to verify the validity of applications and to disqualify any application which, in the opinion of the Reviews.org, includes objectionable content, profanity, potentially insulting, inflammatory or defamatory statements.
  11. Reviews.org reserves the right to disqualify any Applicant who tampers with the application process, who submits an application that is not in accordance with these Terms & Conditions or who has, in the opinion of Reviews.org, engaged in conduct in entering the Promotion which is fraudulent, misleading, deceptive or generally damaging to the goodwill or reputation of the Promotion and/or Reviews.org.
  12. Reviews.org reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to disqualify any individual who Reviews.org has reason to believe has breached any of these Terms and Conditions, or engaged in any unlawful or other improper misconduct calculated to jeopardise the fair and proper conduct of the Promotion. Review.org’s legal rights to recover damages or other compensation from such an offender are reserved.
  13. Reviews.org reserves the right to disqualify the Successful Applicant if Reviews.org becomes aware that the Successful Applicant and/or the Successful Applicant's application is of a type described in clauses 10 to 12.
  14. If there is a dispute as to the identity of an Applicant, Reviews.org reserves the right, in its sole discretion, to determine the identity of the Applicant.
  15. Applicants warrant that they are not precluded from participation in, and applying for, this Promotion.
  16. The Successful Applicant will be selected from the entire pool of eligible Applicants. A panel of Reviews.org employees (Assessors) will review all applications and select the Applicant who is most qualified in their opinion based on the application questionnaire (Successful Applicant).
  17. Each application will be individually assessed based on the originality and creativity of the submissions, and how well Applicants fit the brief for the Promotion in Reviews.org’s discretion. The Assessors may select additional reserve applications which they determine to be the next best, and record them in order of merit, in case of an invalid application or ineligible Applicant. Chance plays no part in selecting the Successful Applicant.
  18. A panel of Reviews.org staff will select the best Applicant. Each Assessor has industry experience in telecommunications and has been selected by Reviews.org in its absolute discretion.
  19. The Assessor’s selection of the Successful Applicant is final and Reviews.org will not enter into correspondence regarding the Promotion result or the assessment process.
  20. The assessment will take place on or about 30 September 2022 (AEDT).
  21. The Successful Applicant will be notified by email and/or letter at their nominated address within 7 days of the assessment date. If the Successful Applicant cannot be contacted or does not claim the Prize Package within 10 days of Reviews.org sending the notification, Reviews.org reserves the right to withdraw the offer from the Successful Applicant and pick a replacement.
  22. Reviews.org will notify the Successful Applicant of the steps required for the Successful Applicant to collect the Prize Package.
  23. Should an Applicant’s contact details change during the Promotional Period, it is the Applicant's responsibility to notify Reviews.org. A request to access or modify any information provided in an application should be directed to Reviews.org.
  24. Reviews.org reserves the right to request the Successful Applicant to provide proof of identity, residency and validity at the nominated Prize Package delivery address in order to claim the Prize Package. Proof of identification, residency and validity considered suitable for verification is at the discretion of Reviews.org. In an event that a Successful Applicant cannot provide evidence to the reasonable satisfaction of Reviews.org, the Successful Applicant will forfeit the Prize Package in whole and no substitute will be offered to that Applicant.
  25. The Successful Applicant will ensure that they comply with all laws in connection with the Promotion and these Terms and Conditions.
  26. The best application, as deemed by the Assessors, will be provided with a A$100.00 gift card and given the opportunity to participate in the Challenge.
  27. The Challenge requires the Successful Applicant to ‘unplug’ by refraining from using certain technology for a 24 hour period. The technology prohibited includes mobile telephones, tablets, smart watches, televisions, computers or laptops, video games, gaming consoles, and any other smart technologies or digital communication devices (Challenge).
  28. Reviews.org will set a time frame in which the Challenge must be completed, and the Successful Applicant may choose a 24 hour time period in which to complete the Challenge within this time frame.
  29. In order to receive the A$2,400.00 portion of the Prize Package, the Successful Applicant must:
    1. complete the Challenge in accordance with these Terms and Conditions to the satisfaction of Reviews.org;
    2. provide adequate proof to Reviews.org that the Successful Applicant completed the Challenge, including but not limited to providing a mobile phone screen time report (where available); and
    3. provide Reviews.org with a written report in a form reasonably determined by Reviews.org about the Challenge experience, to the reasonable satisfaction of Reviews.org, for publication (Report).
  1. The Successful Applicant must provide the Report to Reviews.org within 7 days of attempting the Challenge, or such other time period as Reviews.org and the Successful Applicant agree in writing.
  2. The Successful Applicant acknowledges that Reviews.org may edit, amend, add to or refine the Report at its sole and absolute discretion prior to publication by Reviews.org on their website or other platforms. Reviews.org will take reasonable steps to retain the integrity of the Successful Applicants Report, in order to not misrepresent the statements of the Successful applicant or take them out of context in any material respect. This does not prevent any statements of the Successful Applicant being modified in a manner that does not materially alter the original meaning.
  3. No cash alternative to the Prize Package will be offered, and the Prize Package is not transferable.
  4. Reviews.org reserves the right to refuse or allow a Successful Applicant to take part in any or all aspects of the Promotion, if Reviews.org determines, in its absolute discretion, that the Successful Applicant is not in the mental or physical condition necessary to be able to safely participate in the Promotion.
  5. By accepting the technology safe, the Successful Applicant agrees to participate in and cooperate as required with all reasonable media editorial requests of Reviews.org relating to the Promotion, including but not limited to, being interviewed, photographed and/or filmed following the Promotional Period.
  6. In consideration for Reviews.org providing the Prize Package to the Successful Applicant, the Successful Applicant hereby permits the Successful Applicant’s image and/or voice, as recorded, photographed or filmed during their participation in the Promotion to appear in connection with Reviews.org or the advertising or marketing thereof, in any media whatsoever throughout the world and the Successful Applicant will not be entitled to any fee for such use.
  7. In the event that for any reason whatsoever the Successful Applicant does not take an element of the Prize Package at the time stipulated by Reviews.org then that element of the Prize Package will be forfeited by the Successful Applicant and alternative goods or services will not be awarded in lieu of the Prize Package.
  8. The Successful Applicant agrees to act in good faith in their dealings with Reviews.org in relation to the Promotion and comply with all reasonable requests of Reviews.org in connection with the Promotion.
  9. This Promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. Applicants understand that they are providing their information to Reviews.org and not Facebook. The information they provide will only be used for the purposes as set out in these Terms and Conditions. Any questions, comments or complaints about this Promotion should be directed to Reviews.org and not Facebook. Facebook will not be liable for any loss or damage or personal injury which is suffered or sustained by an Applicant, as a result of participating in the Promotion, except for any liability which cannot be excluded by law.
  10. The Successful Applicant specifically acknowledges that the Prize Package shall be provided and fulfilled by Reviews.org.
  11. The A$100.00 gift card and the A$2400.00 payments are subject to all applicable Australian state and federal taxes which must be paid by the Successful Applicant.
  12. In the case of the intervention of any outside act, agent or event which prevents or significantly hinders Reviews.org’s ability to proceed with the Promotion on the dates and in the manner described in these Terms and Conditions, including but not limited to vandalism, power failures, tempests, natural disasters, acts of God, civil unrest, strike, war, act of terrorism, Reviews.org may in its absolute discretion cancel the Promotion and recommence it from the start on the same conditions, subject to any directions given under any applicable Australian state laws or regulations.
  13. If for any reason this Promotion is not capable of running as planned, including due to infection by computer virus, bugs, tampering, unauthorised intervention, fraud, technical failures or any causes beyond the control of Reviews.org, which corrupt or affect the administration, security, fairness or integrity or proper conduct of this Promotion, Reviews.org reserves the right in its sole discretion to disqualify any individual who tampers with the application process, take any action that may be available, and to cancel, terminate, modify or suspend the Promotion, subject to any direction given under any applicable Australian law or regulation.
  14. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions limits, excludes or modifies or purports to limit, exclude or modify the statutory consumer guarantees as provided under the Competition and Consumer Act 2010 (Cth), as well as any other implied warranties under the ASIC Act 2001 (Cth) or similar consumer protection laws in the State and Territories of Australia (Non-Excludable Guarantees). Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non-Excludable Guarantees, Reviews.org (including its respective officers, employees and agents) excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of the Promotion.
  15. Except for any liability that cannot by law be excluded, including the Non Excludable Guarantees, Reviews.org (including its respective officers, employees and agents) is not responsible for and excludes all liability (including negligence), for any personal injury; or any loss or damage (including loss of opportunity); whether direct, indirect, special or consequential, arising in any way out of:
    1. any technical difficulties, program or equipment malfunction including any omission, interruption, deletion, defect, delay in operation or transmission, network failure, theft or destruction or unauthorised access to or alteration of applications (whether or not under Review.org's control);
    2. any theft, unauthorised access or third party interference;
    3. any application or claim for the Prize Package that is late, lost, altered, damaged or misdirected (whether or not after their receipt by Reviews.org) due to any reason beyond the reasonable control of Reviews.org;
    4. any variation in Prize Package value to that stated in these Terms and Conditions;
    5. any tax liability incurred by the Successful Applicant or an Applicant;
    6. taking and/or use of the Prize Package; or
    7. any incorrect or inaccurate information, either for any of the equipment or programming associated with or utilised in this Promotion.
  1. Risk passes to the Successful Applicant upon delivery of the technology safe or Prize Package to the Successful Applicant by Reviews.org. For the avoidance of doubt nothing in this clause affects any of the Non-Excludable Guarantees.
  2. All applications submitted become the property of Reviews.org. Applications will not be returned to any Applicant. As a condition of applying for this Promotion, each Applicant assigns, now and on a continuing basis, all of their rights, title and interest (including copyright) in and to their Report to Reviews.org including but not limited to the text of the Report, and any photographs, video or audio recordings produced by the Successful Applicant in relation to this Promotion. Each Applicant warrants to Reviews.org that each application and Report submitted is an original literary work of the Applicant that does not infringe the rights of any third party. The Applicant agrees to indemnify Reviews.org against all costs and claims by third parties arising from a breach of this warranty.
  3. Applicants consent to any use of their application which may otherwise infringe their moral rights pursuant to the Copyright Act 1968 (Cth), including use of the application or Report, in the case of the Successful Applicant, without any requirement of attribution, acknowledgement or consultation with the Applicant.
  4. Nothing in these Terms and Conditions creates a relationship of employer and employee between Reviews.org and the Successful Applicant.
  5. Privacy and Collection Notice:
    1. Nothing in the Privacy Policy or this document affects the rights of an Applicant under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth) or the Australian Privacy Principles, and the Privacy Policy shall be construed accordingly.
    2. To the extent that the Privacy Policy contradicts this Privacy and Collection Notice, this Privacy and Collection Notice shall prevail. Capitalised terms used in this Privacy Collection Notice, but not defined in this document have the meaning as defined under the Privacy Act 1988 (Cth).
    3. This Privacy and Collection Notice governs all Personal Information collected by and provided to Reviews.org with respect to the Promotion.
    4. Collection of Personal Information:
      1. Reviews.org collects Personal Information for the following purposes (Primary Purpose):
        1. to lawfully carry out the Promotion;
        2. to process personal information;
        3. to verify the identity of Applicants;
        4. to assess whether Applicants are eligible for the Promotion;
        5. to store in a relevant database;
        6. to develop insights used in reports or other content developed by Reviews.org; and
        7. for administration purposes.
      2. In addition to the Primary Purpose, Applicants consent to Reviews.org and its Related Bodies Corporate (as defined in Corporations Act 2001 (Cth)) using the personal information to:
        1. provide Applicants with news about Reviews.org;
        2. send Applicants marketing and promotional material;
        3. communicate with Applicants, including by email, telephone and mail;
        4. conduct surveys or promotions;
        5. investigate any complains about an Applicant, or if Reviews.org suspects that an Applicant has breached any terms and conditions; and
        6. as required or permitted by any law.
    5. Personal information collected by Reviews.org may include names, dates of birth, addresses, telephone numbers, gender, authentication data, payment information, geolocation data, social media identifiers, and email addresses of Applicants, including any information entered by Applicants in order to apply for the Challenge.
    6. Reviews.org will not collect or process sensitive information if it is reasonably necessary for the Promotion, unless the Applicant provides express consent.
    7. Reviews.org will collect other information relating to an Applicants activity on the website, which may include:
      1. the IP address of the Applicant and a component of the domain name used;
      2. the type of browser and operating system used by the Applicant;
      3. the date and time the Applicant visited the website;
      4. the web page or services accessed by the Applicant;
      5. time spent on the individual pages and the website overall; and
      6. information about the Applicant’s computer and internet connection using cookies.
    8. Reviews.org will within a reasonable time period destroy or de-identify information received.
    9. Reviews.org will only use and disclose personal information of the Applicant:
      1. for the Primary Purposes;
      2. if the Applicant provides consent to do so; or
      3. if it is lawful to do so otherwise, in accordance with this Privacy and Collection Notice and the applicable laws.
    1. Applicants consent to Reviews.org disclosing personal information (that is not sensitive information) to:
      1. third parties engaged by Reviews.org to perform functions or provide software and/or services;
      2. Related Bodies Corporate;
      3. to cloud based service providers and applications;
      4. to the professional advisors of Reviews.org or its Related Bodies Corporate, including lawyers, accountants and auditors;
      5. any persons as required or permitted by law;
      6. a party to a transaction involving the sale of Reviews.org or its assets.
    2. The Applicant acknowledges that Reviews.org will transfer the Applicants personal information to overseas persons, including to persons in the United States of America, to facilitate the Promotion.
    3. The Applicant may request access to their personal information by contacting Reviews.org in writing.
    4. Reviews.org will take reasonable steps to protect the personal information of Applicants. Applicants acknowledge that the security of communications sent by electronic means cannot be guaranteed, and Reviews.org accepts no liability for misuse, loss or unauthorized access to the personal information of Applicants where the security of information is outside the control of Reviews.org.
    5. Reviews.org will retain the personal information of Applicants for as long as necessary to facilitate the Promotion. Upon expiry of the relevant time period, Reviews.org will take steps to destroy or de-identify the personal information of Applicants in accordance with the relevant laws and regulations.

Methodology

We surveyed 1,000 Australians about their mobile usage and opinions, and then analysed the results for this report.

Kate Reynolds
Written by
Kate Reynolds
Kate Reynolds is a writer who's at her happiest when there's haloumi on the brunch menu and a dog to give pats to. She's worked as a travel writer, journalist, theatre reviewer, broadcaster and radio creative, and spends her weekends with as much of the aforementioned haloumi and dogs as possible. She writes on Cammeraygal and Wangal land.

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