Starting a digital detox on holiday wasn’t one of my better ideas. You need Google maps to win at life and how do you know where the nearest Burger King is?
I believe you can no longer find a job, a house or a life partner without the use of the internet. Our lives are so tuned to using devices to access all of Google’s knowledge that the convenience of this once considered luxury is now just part of our all day e’ryday. And I can’t remember how I used to survive without constantly sourcing information from a cracked iPhone screen. Or how I used to wash my face before makeup wipes were a thing.
So I suggested that, on our non adventurous one week holiday to New Zealand, the boyfriend and I spend one day (just one) doing a digital detox. No phones, tablets, computers, laptops or telly! I also stipulated that it wouldn’t happen on my birthday because I want to read all the nice things people write about me on my Facebook wall. We decide that Thursday could be a good day but by Tuesday we have already pushed it back to Saturday, because… well just because.
We quickly discover that travelling without the interweb requires a lot of research and planning and restricts the ability to discover accurate opening hours for the nearest Burger King.
I really liked the idea of disconnecting from my digitally consumed life and being on holiday seemed the best place to be able to do so. In my mind I was going to be meditating and staring into Billy’s eyes for the best part of the day. But in reality I was sending emails from my iPad while simultaneously checking my Facebook notifications on my laptop while Billy was at the gym.
I was ill prepared in my pursuit of digital detox success. But here’s what I learnt:
5 tips to achieve Digital Detox Success
Don’t do it on holiday
Rule one. Don’t do it on a day where you need to use the interweb. Just don’t.
A lazy Sunday or one of those boring days between Christmas and New Year, that would be a good day to attempt a digital detox. Choose a day where you don’t have to answer anyones emails, texts, Instagram tags or dick pics.
Shit to do
Make a plan. Sort out what you are going to do for the day and make it either enjoyable or productive. Go for breakfast, colour in, jog around the park, spend the day with your mother in-law, try and remember your MyGov password without reset prompts (this is a joke – DO NOT attempt this because you will fail). You’ll have a better chance of digital detox success if you are occupied and kept busy.
Wear a watch
Buy yourself a watch. Or if you already have one then wear it and use it to tell time. I’m very guilty of this. Sometimes I’ll be sitting at my computer, looking at screen, and I know the time is ALWAYS displayed in the bottom right hand corner. But I reach over to my phone, illuminate the cracked glass and see that it’s only 3 minutes since I last checked my phone. I have no missed calls, eBay notifications or unsolicited dick pics! Sigh. Wanting to know the time is just an excuse to check my phone.
Wear a watch.
Sephora rewards system
Ultimately the reward of a digital detox is that you can spend time with yourself and others without digitally infused distractions. But there is nothing wrong with a bit of a incentive in the form of a reward. And best that this rewards system that is a deterrent and at the same time somewhat beneficial. For example I negotiated that if Billy were to accidentally grab his phone, turn it on, use his fingerprint to open the security feature and view a golf related YouTube tutorial I would receive a reward for not doing that. Each digital detox fail equates to $5 Sephora dollars.
*Sephora dollars can be redeemed via goods listed in a preprepared word document which will be emailed to the boyfriend who is currently on his way to Vegas for a “work conference”.
Tell your mates
Inform people of your plan to spend the day without the use of intellectual property belonging to Bill Gates, Steve Jobs or that rich bloke Miranda Kerr just married. As I learnt, if you tell every person you know that you are doing a: ‘Digital Detox’ they are going to ask you how it went. So if you fail, as I did, then you’ll wish you hadn’t banged on about it for a week leading up to the event. Tell your mates and make a commitment to yourself. That will ensure you’re more likely to attempt, persist and succeed.
I’m basically Anthony Robbins over here!
Never give up, giving up.
I may have stolen this from an advertising campaign that is aimed at highlighting a practice that is slightly more damaging to your health than electronic devices, but the message is still relevant.
Never give up, giving up electronic device addiction.
I tried to do a whole day of digital detox and only made it through a breakfast and a 4 hour car trip (even if we did use Google maps as a navigational device on said car trip). I’ll attempt to do another digital detox and this time I’ll be better prepared.
Maybe I’ll do it on one of those boring days between Christmas and New Year… After I’ve have read all the nice things people have written about me on my Facebook wall.