For people needing some digital time-out, a digital detox simply means turning off access to all the social networks and online distractions that have you reaching for your smart-device at all hours and manner of situations (anyone guilty of checking email and Facebook before their feet even hit the floor in the morning? I know I am). Some people even update their Facebook or Twitter accounts to let people know they’re going on detox, explaining the silence that’s set to come their way.
Sounds easy enough, right? We’re not really that reliant on our social streams and online updates are we?
Planes and moviews - try this for yourself
Here’s a little experiment to try next time you go to the movies or on a plane trip (which I reckon should remain some of the last bastions of mobile call no-go zones except in emergencies – except for flight mode for some tunes). When the credits roll or the seatbelt sign is turned off after landing, look at how many people dive for their phones to see what they’ve missed. Sure, there are calls needing to be returned, but that familiar thumb-flick across screens spells a digital fix to me. Maybe a digital detox isn’t such a bad idea after all!
Some people are taking this idea all the way, signing up for luxury holidays in the Caribbean, where the first resort activity is to hand over all digital devices – not quite as fun as scuba or parasailing, but you get the drift. This seems a bit extreme to me, but a slightly less wallet-straining version might be to hand your mobile or tablet over to a mate for a day, letting them know you only want it back in an emergency or if certain people call (kinda like an extended version of phone stacking, but with a twist). When I went overseas for a couple of weeks last year, I imposed an email ban and it was strangely liberating … lo and behold, the world also kept turning!
Do you need a digital detox or is your phone still a lifestyle enabler, rather than a time-sucker? If you’ve ever signed yourself up for some offline time let us know if you cherished every minute or had twitchy thumbs the whole time.
Ged – the PR guy