Like sexting, selfies, and planking, the phrase ‘digital detox’ didn’t exist in previous generations because it just wasn’t necessary.
When we were around others, we were mostly present in the moment and engaged in conversation.
I’m sure you’ll agree with me that it’s a rare interaction today that doesn’t involve technology of some kind.
Most of us associate mobile device addiction with teenagers and young adults but you only need to go to the local playground to see that it’s affecting mums, or catch a silent bus or train in peak hour to see that men too are engaging in their devices rather than with the real person beside them.
So why am I discussing this with you?
Because I run an online business, and despite my best efforts, technology has invaded almost every one of my waking hours, and even several of my non-waking hours and it’s starting to wear me down.
Don’t get me wrong. I haven’t had enough that I’m about to throw my online business away. I’ve simply started to realise how being constantly wired it is starting to impact my relationships with those closet to me as well as impacting my health. It’s time for me to get firm on boundaries.
But that’s easier said than done…..
Early this year we went on a 5-day family holiday to the beautiful Clare Valley. I had grand ambitions that I would attempt my first digital detox. I knew it would be hard. I was a couple of weeks out of re-launching my Home Detox Boot Camp and there were still so many loose ends to tie up, but I wanted to give it a go.
The first day of our holiday was perfect, still weather so we hired some bikes to tackle the Riesling Trail.
Just 1 hour in we were having so much fun – I automatically whipped out my smartphone and took some photos, uploading one instantly to Instagram. Then we hopped back on our bikes and rode to the nearest winery. The moment in time was perfect and I wanted to capture it and share it with others. So I did, and you can see the photographic evidence below…..
In short, despite my best attempts, I failed my digital detox.
I logged onto to my laptop in the evening to check emails, while hubby was watching the cricket on TV. I told myself it was okay as he was busy but the reality was, if I made it to 24 hours without logging on, I was back online by 48 hours.
I did spend much of the days doing activities with the kids and my husband, and I also read two novels over the course of the 5 days in the evenings, so I obviously wasn’t constantly wired but you get the drift, it was damn tough. I’ve since decided that I need designated “off” time – for me, and my family.
Just over a week ago this decision was further cemented.
I was fortunate to attend a very moving presentation by Sonya Ryan, founder of the Carly Ryan Foundation, a non-profit charity created to promote internet safety. Sonya is also mother to Carly, a beautiful teenage girl who lost her life to an internet predator.
The bulk of the presentation was centred on how we can keep our kids safe online, but it was the clip shown at the end that really spoke to me and I’d like to share it with you.
It’s simply called “Look up from your Phone” and you can watch it here. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fCT5n23OExE
Like me, if you’re struggling to look up from your phone (or tablet, or laptop), maybe just try these simple actions over the next week to bring yourself back into the present.
- Keep all smartphones and tablets out of your bedroom overnight
- Place them on silent or switch off when you’re out and about engaged with your kids.
- Have one social-free day a week where you ban yourself from social media.
So are you with me? I’d love to know how you get on!
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