#30DayDetox: Why Jill Martin is giving up her gadgets — and how you can join her

Get the latest from TODAY

Sign up for our newsletter
By Jill Martin

Bye bye, iPhone! Wait, what?

That's right, no more selfies for me. I'm about to embark on a journey — one that will change my life, I am sure of it. And I want you to join me!

Checking the phone -- even in the pool.Today

For 30 days, during the month of August, I am going to give up my iPhone, computer, iPad, and anything else that connects me to WiFi. That's right, I am actually choosing to go back to the '90s — to a time when we actually had to pick up the phone if we wanted to communicate with someone.

I know it seems counter-intuitive to be giving up something that was designed to make our lives easier and better, but for me, right now, my dependence on the Internet, email, texting and social media is doing more harm than good.

My charger drawer -- don't judge, I know you have one! Today

I am addicted to my phone — and I know I’m not the only one in this boat. I'm now more reliant on something than on someone.

I just feel like I'm not experiencing things to the fullest anymore. I'm either looking down at my keyboard, typing to someone other than the person I am with, or taking a picture, adding a filter, and posting it to my social networks for someone else to see.

My phone from this week -- 1500 unread messages. By the end of August, I may have 20,000 unread emails!Today

Either way, I am certainly not present. All of my special moments are compromised because of my smartphone and the immediate access it affords me to email, social media, etc. And, don’t even get me started on the hazards of dating and texting!

Like many of you, I'm also a workaholic. I often work from 5 a.m. until midnight, and my job relies heavily on sending emails, text messages, and using social media to plan and to promote upcoming stories. Many say I have work FOMO, or fear of missing out, but I just say, I love what I do.

I rarely take a long vacation or break, but this August, I'm going to unplug. I will continue working for TODAY, but will have to do it the old-fashioned way, communicating with my producers through phone calls and having notes messengered to me.

There will be a bounce-back on my emails, saying "If this is urgent, please contact my assistant...Otherwise I will get back to you when I return in September."

While I disconnect, I'm also going to take the month to travel to places I've never been before — and do things I've never done before. I will have friends meet me along the way, but will be alone a lot. If it sounds a little like “Eat, Pray, Love,” well, it kinda is!

Jill Martin is giving up all the devices that connect her to the Internet.Today

I am both excited and nervous, but I'm mostly proud of myself for taking on this challenge. This is going to be tough, but I feel like it will significantly improve my quality of life.

Now it's your turn: Jump on board!

While I know it is unrealistic to ask most of you to give up your phones for a month, I'm just asking you to give up something — that vice you've been wanting to part with. Join in with us online, telling us what you're giving up with the hashtag #30DayDetox.

Each anchor has picked one thing to give up: 

  • Matt – Ice cream
  • Savannah – The word 'selfie'
  • Al – Salty snacks
  • Natalie – Shopping
  • Carson – Eating his kid’s snacks
  • Tamron – Sweets
  • Willie – Bread 
  • Kathie Lee – Bread
  • Hoda – Sweets…except for her birthday cake

And my family is playing along, too. My mom, Georgette, is giving up carbs like pasta, bread and rice. My Dad, Martin, is giving up diet soda. My brother, Jon, is giving up TV — he wants to read more and go out and experience life, and says watching TV is a crutch to stay home. (My producer, Robert, is also choosing to give up non-work-related TV!) When you figure out what you want to give up, ask a friend or relative to do it with you — it’s always easier with a little support!

My family, who are joining the challenge.Today

So, I'm doing it! I promise not to cheat, not once. I will have an old-school phone for calls (it doesn’t text or email), a camera to take pics/video, and actual newspapers to read. I will write postcards and letters when I venture out of the country.

What is your August going to look like? Let’s do this together and come back in September, better than ever.