My Digital Detox Diary

Recently I got a bit agitated when  I tried contacting a colleague who was in the middle of a digital detox. My reaction was a clear sign that I too needed to perhaps go offline and remind myself what the world was like when all was analog.

So I decided on my ten day break at the family beach house I would switch off the phone and the internet. I’ll be honest I was nervous with how I would cope but as you will read below I survived – and surprisingly well….

Day 1

Well got off to a rocky start. Phone did not get switched off until after lunch. Despite all my planning I was still coordinating play dates and arrangements for the beach house throughout the morning. And of course I wanted to squeeze in one last weather update on the app to make sure I’ve packed everything. Then of course there was the obligatory signing off of social media  for 10 days. Once it was switched off I did have an urge to jump on Twitter late in the afternoon but decided to give myself a pedicure instead.

Day 2

Caught up on 6 weeks worth of The Saturday Paper’s that had been accumulating by my bed. I made two observations. One, when I’m not reading news headlines and stories throughout the day on social media I have a bigger appetite for in depth articles. And two I have to fight the urge to tweet my opinion on everything I read.

Day 3

Oh wow, David Bowie died today. News came thru just before the 6pm TV news bulletin so there was no decent tribute to him. I did however have no great desire to jump on Twitter and #vale. While that is a good sign I did crave losing myself in Bowie clips on YouTube.

Day 4

Well the itch to pick up my phone is fading but I’m still craving regular doses of news. Resorted to reading a copy of The Advertiser cover to cover that was lying around. This may not end well. I did bring the complete works of Hunter S Thompson it may be news 40 years old but at least it’s the Rolling Stones Magazine.

Day 5

I’m compiling recipes from a cook book and writing my shopping lists on pads how old school. I realised how pervasive apps are in my life, ordinarily this would all be done on my phone. I also had to use a paper map today to visit a friend. Ended up walking the long way to get to there but that’s ok when you’ve got nothing but time. On a more personal note, I am so much more present for my son right now, we are talking more and finding excuses to play card and board games.

Day 6

Found a 500 piece jig saw today, who needs colouring in books?!

On a serious note my partner called today to discuss an offer he received that would have an impact on our year. He noted how calm I was talking through all the stress we may face. I now think I know what mindfulness feels like.

Day 7

Today I’m expecting people to arrive to spend the weekend with us. I have no idea what time they’ll come so I’m left hanging around the house. I’m sure we’ll survive but this is really becoming a lesson in letting go and not getting hung up on trying to control everything.

Day 8

Well friends are now at the beach house with us and while the conversation and food is great I’m getting frustrated with people checking their phones for messages and mobile phones ringing. Wow, I don’t think I recognise this person I’ve become.

Day 9

Well it’s time to go home and I keep getting distracted by the thought of turning my phone on again. I’m scared my message bank will be full of messages and texts. And let’s not mention the emails! I think I’ll let myself sleep easy and check them after my show in the morning.

Well the detox is over and I honestly do not recognise myself. This amazing sense of calm that is over me feels foreign. My mind is settled and I’m fresh for a new year of work, best of all I sat at my optometrist this morning waiting for my appointment and had no urge to look at social media or news headlines on my phone while I wait. I hope I can keep this up!

NB: When I said I was doing a digital detox someone commented to me that they don’t think they could do it. Admittedly I thought neither could I but I did, and not only did I survive it was an experience I will never forget. Now I keep thinking how can I do this again to help me stay in the wonderful place of calm I am in.