“I did a digital detox and my goodness, I felt like a million bucks! I’m so connected to the earth and myself because I haven’t tweeted in 48 hours!” We’ve all seen the articles with the toothy yoga-doing model or actress promoting the road to self-awareness through a digital detox. Personally, the only digital detox press that seems to stick is the Ted Talk where the dude gave it up for months and then proceeded to return to it like a hungry fat kid home from fat camp. The truth is, you do resort back to your ways immediately afterwards. “WTF is happening in the world? I NEED TO KNOW!”
Two weeks ago I went on an unintentional digital detox. I joined my family on a trip to Sodwana Bay, KZN, and our beautiful accommodation came with no Internet and zero cell service. Seizing the opportunity, I declared a 48-hour digital detox.
I’m extremely active on Social Media and whenever I hint at a digital detox, I get the small smiles and polite encouragement with next to nobody trusting that I’ll see it through. You know what? I absolutely love going on a digital detox. If there are no emergencies with my clients, I love nothing more than letting my cell phone go dead and just be with myself. I’ll finish reading an entire book or take to the outdoors on foot for hours. Gratitude is the emotion I feel when I have nothing distracting me but the present. You start seeing colours differently, and you take in your surroundings as if it were all being seen for the first time. It reminds me to be present.
What does a digital detox entail?
Anywhere that doesn’t allow you an Internet connection and electronic goodness for a length of time. You will need to cut out:
- Cell phone/Mobile
I’ve heard some people include a camera to this list, but taking photos on my walk is a must and you can’t take that happiness away from me. I wait until after my detox before uploading and editing them, which actually works as great reflection time to look at the pictures once you’re back ‘online’.
The main platforms you’ll be deprived of are:
- Social Media
- World Wide Web aka Netflix
Oh my goodness, the time on your hands is deafening! It’s literally screaming at you: “Do you not get how much time you actually spend on your phone?!”. The funniest part for me was for the first six hours; I would continuously reach out for my phone. I was just sitting at the table for dinner and immediately after finishing my hand drifted 45 degrees North West of my plate to where my phone would normally sit.
Would I recommend a digital detox?
If I didn’t have so much work, I would do one every month. The stress melts off my body as I shut my mind to what everyone else is doing and fully focus on my present self. You stop seeing the enviable images on Instagram and comparing your life to those around you. Remember when we used to look outside for inspiration rather than Pinterest?
My first status after my detox read:
“Sitting in a cute coffee shop catching up on my life in Sodwana Bay. Had to catch myself… I am so lucky.
Adventure is closer than you think… pack up for a weekend and GO.
Digital Detox was desperately needed.”