EXCLUSIVE: Tegan Martin thinks everyone should go on a digital detox

The latest I'm A Celeb evictee tells Now To Love she didn't miss her phone one bloody bit!

By Bella Brennan
Fresh out of the South African jungle, Tegan Martin already knows the biggest lesson she'll take away from her I'm A Celeb experience and it has us sagely stroking our chins and agreeing.
Admitting she feels "six years older and ten years wiser" the 24-year-old Miss Universe Australia star opens up about her life-changing digital detox and her exciting reunion with her boyfriend, rugby union player Sam Croke.
What do you think the most important thing is that you'll take away from the whole experience?
Something I didn’t anticipate that would move me so much is not having a phone for six weeks. I didn’t pollute my mind with social media, I didn’t have the pressure to respond to my management about jobs as quickly or make decisions all the time.
I didn’t even know what was going to happen with my living arrangement. Two of my roommates moved out while I was away. It’s my house and I lease the rooms to people but a lot can happen in six weeks!
Will you be bringing this new attitude into the real world?
Absolutely! I’ve always been an advocate for phone detoxes. Every fortnight I switch my phone off for an entire weekend, much to my management’s disgrace, and just not respond to anyone. Whoever I’m with, I try to be very present. It’s the same when I go out to dinner with friends, I don’t take my phone anymore and be present in the moment.
Not having my phone for six weeks, I feel cleansed, I feel passionate again. I’m ready to take on my next adventure! I’m ready to use my jungle experience to explain to young women the importance of digital detoxing and not getting caught up in social media and what other nasty keyboard warriors are saying about you.
When you’ve been shut off from that for as long as I have, you realise that’s not what life’s about and we spend far too much time polluting our mind with the crap on social media.
Tegan says six weeks off the grid has given her a renewed passion for life.
Are you cautiously wading back into social media?
I got my phone back yesterday afternoon. Initially, I didn’t turn it on. It was strange holding it in my hand… The first thing I did was call my mum, my boyfriend, my best friend. I burst into to tears. I missed them so much!
What was the biggest challenge?
They thought I was having a ball, but they didn’t see the other 23 hours where I was thinking about them, missing them and wondering if they were OK. Having no contact was definitely one of the hardest things.
What about the weigh ins? There were some headlines you lost the least amount of weight but you had no weight to lose!
It was just a part of the experience. I was quite amazed that I could lose four kilos. I was already quite fit and healthy when I went in. To be honest, I probably put two of them back on last night from just having snacks and meals again.
I don’t think it will be something I will ever try and sustain. It was really cool to see other people who went in with the mindset of losing weight and remain fit and healthy after this experience. People like Casey Donovan, she’s an incredible soul. She lost 17-kilos!
Kris, Lisa and I, who are probably the biggest health crazy people, were having great chats to her about how we can help her in the outside world. I’m definitely going to go for some walks with her and help her along the way because she’s such a beautiful soul and I think she’s got a great future ahead of her.
The 24-year-old will be cheering on Lisa Curry or Natalie Bassingthwaighte on to win.
You also mentioned you want a female to win this year?
[I want] Nat or Lisa! My jungle sister or my jungle mama.
I want to see with the tree crown on their head. I do think it can happen, I’m going to start a social media campaign. I want one of the girls to win.
We’ve had the male sports star in the past, which is great. I’d still be very happy if Dane won but I think it’s time a female takes the crown home. Nat and Lisa have really beautiful charities and I’d be happy either way.
How pumped are you to see your boyfriend and family?
I am just busting to get out of that plane and see them waiting for me. My boyfriend was saying he was struggling just as much as I was.
He started writing in a journal all the things that he missed about me! I just burst into tears, it was so beautiful. And it was news to me that they were going through their own emotional roller-coaster on the outside world. I didn’t think about how hard it would be for them.
What's the first thing you'll do with your man Sam?
We’ll be going to the Coogee Pavilion for our favourite steak, that’s our favourite thing to do.
Probably go to the park and kick the footy, or backyard cricket! Just being us again and having fun.