Written by Emma Vetriano • Published 01st October 2013
These two words – digital detox – start a lot of sweats in our office. Basically, a digital detox is disconnecting yourself from the grid for a set period, i.e. no work emails, no social media, no texts, no phone calls!
— Emma-Louise Vetriano (@EmmaVetriano) August 6, 2013
As enforced digital detox breaks are becoming fashionable I thought I’d jump on the bandwagon during my summer holiday. This meant no tweets, selfies, posts on Facebook, status updates on LinkedIn, Pins, SnapChats, etc. All the research suggested that only a third of travellers who consciously plan a digital detox actually manage it, so I liked the idea of the challenge. The steps I took to get off to a flying start, please mind the pun:
- I weaned myself off all my social channels.
- Detoxed my accounts; deleted RSS feeds, unfollowed infrequent tweeters, unfriended people obsessed with overly personal Facebook updates and games.
- I told my boss, colleagues and clients the dates I would be away and explained that I’d be uncontactable for the duration.
- Prepared a handover document for my colleagues with details of my accounts.
- Switched on my out-of-office message on my outlook.
- Warned my friends and family that I will only be contactable via my personal email that I will check every couple of days in an internet café.
- and… I packed three books and my DSLR.
The plan was to reconnect rested and more creative than ever. So how did it go I hear you ask? There were many obstacles, my detox kicked off with an emergency landing in Dublin that led to my departure being delayed 24 hours. My natural instinct as a typical HD generation was to tweet my anguish but alas I could not. I grabbed my DSLR, made friends with a couple of passengers and finished my first book. Rearranging my pick-up from the airport with no Facebook or Viber was also now a challenge – hello increase on my phone bill! Moments of weakness, there was only one… On the 12th day, I was made to sit in Starbucks for 2 hours whilst my friend drafted his fantasy football team, without the armour of a book and nothing to take pictures of – my thumbs led to me to check my Snapchat inbox. Surprisingly, it was less of a challenge than I had predicted. The Apps I missed the most were Instagram and SnapChat, but that’s probably because I am a very visual person. My expectation had been that I would spend 2 weeks missing twitter and wondering what was going on Facebook but instead, I found myself enjoying the digital liberation. Do you think you could handle it?