Why I’m starting a Digital Detox

Why I’m starting a Digital Detox

I’m a digital junkie. A serious addict. If I’m not ‘facebooking*’, I’m ‘tweeting*’. I Google myself almost daily. I join at least three new social network or directories a week. You know all those links that people post? I read them. All of them. And then I comment. And then I comment on others’ comments. I can be watching a film and really enjoying it and I’ll stop and think, ‘Ooh, I’d better check Facebook.’ I get emotional when I see the rainbow wheel. If the internet connection wavers I come out in a cold sweat.

Why? What’s wrong with me?

I need help.

A couple of sessions with a psychoanalyst would probably diagnose some kind of attention deficit disorder – a need to be involved. They’d track it back to when I wasn’t invited to Julie Brandon’s 12th birthday party and I sobbed in my bedroom ‘cos Julie snogged the boy I fancied at the time. I don’t want to miss anything. I don’t want to miss out. My analyst would say, ‘Get out more’. ‘Do more exercise.’ ‘Do something practical, physical. Paint a picture, grow some carrots, weave some underwear.’ Something, anything that doesn’t involve staring at a screen all day.

So you know what? I’m doing it. I’m digitally detoxing.

My digital detox won’t last the whole month (come on – that would be insane!) but I’m going to try for one week, not to engage in the digital space. And hopefully, when I’m done, I won’t be using phrases like ‘engage in the digital space’ any more.

I’m turning off the laptop and the iPad® and the desktop. (Thankfully, I don’t have an iPhone®) We don’t have a telly (Yippies that we are^) so that’s no major loss. Instead I’m going to exercise, play dinosaurs with my son, take long walks on the beach with my overweight dog, meditate, do some dance lessons, cook real food from scratch, work on the garden and, maybe, even be nice to my husband. **

This will also be the start of a whole month off work. Where am I going? Nowhere. I’m staying at home and doing bugger all for a bit. A decadent luxury, yes, but what the hell is the point of being your own boss if you don’t reward yourself now and again? This is my ‘health before wealth’ strategy that, hopefully, will rejuvenate me and bring me back to fighting fit health. I’ll be back around June 19th.

I would kind of like to blog about it but that would defeat the purpose. So I’ll see you on the other side. Digitally purged.

* No I don’t think these should be verbs either but if ‘thang’ and ‘grrl’ can be accepted by the Scrabble Gods, who am I to argue?

^ Yuppy/Hippy.

** Maybe.

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  • Alberto Sbabo

    Good luck, Kate!
    I can’t even remember what we daily used to do 15 years ago, lol.

    • I know, it’s madness isn’t it? Just think of all that extra time we used to have. To learn to juggle or play the bagpipes or whatever. I’ll be able to do both by the end of this week. Thanks for commenting!

  • Sarah Greenaway

    Love your post and share your sense of despair when connectivity evades me. In contrast though, I don’t lament it… I’ve kind of come to embrace it as as ‘the way we do things now’, and try not to read too much into the fact that I roll over and check Facebook, Twitter, email, Words With Friends and my ABC News app before I’ve said good morning to my husband 🙂

    Good luck! (Playing dinosaurs does sound awesome).


    • Ah so true, it is ‘the way we do things now’ I think I just need to take it down a notch. You know? Yeah Dinosaurs that’s the bit I’m looking forward to most! Thanks for commenting!

  • I applaud you Kate! I feel myself listing to the side of digital addiction and I think it’s a great idea to just step awaaay from the interface. It’s just that slight feeling of anxiety that stops me… that small panicky instinct that makes me check my email before my eyes are really even open.

    I will follow your progress will great interest although I think I’ll know you’ll feel amazing, refreshed and vigorous for life offline.

    Good luck! *refresh email refresh twitter refresh facebook*

    • You know you’ve got it bad when you have to refresh Twitter because the Tweets just aren’t coming fast enough. Yes the small panicky instinct is strong with in me also, but I shall master that monstrous beast. I shall wrench control from it’s sticky little fingers (hopefully). Thanks for commenting!

  • I’ll miss you in cyperspace! I also envy you in a way, too. But I can’t detox that completely because my family would go hungry! (I’m the sole breadwinner/bacon bringer.)

    Last time I was that unplugged was about five years ago in Costa Rica: no phone, no computer, TV, radio, or even newspaper. I did allow an iPod for music, but probably strummed ukulele more.

    Nice photo, by the way. You look very relaxed and happy. Enjoy real life in real time!

    • I too am the bacon bringer (but it’s veggie bacon does that count?). My family will eat gruel for the next week but I think it will do them good. Yes hopefully I can regain that look in the next month! I too have a ukulele, perhaps I’ll finally start trying to learn how to play it. So many options!
      Thanks for commenting!

  • Sounds good Kate, it will be an exciting week. Can’t wait to read about your progress via Twitter, Facebook and your blog.

    • Ah you old cynic! I can do it, I can. I CAN! Thanks for the comment. x

  • Anthony Muscat

    Very cool Kate, best of luck! I’m constantly earning myself “death stares” from my girlfriend when I am still checking facebook and email at midnight in bed and the light on my phone is keeping her awake… which is why I’m not showing her this post otherwise she would try to persuade me to take note and follow your footsteps. I’m not quite ready for that, yet 😉

    • Ah the death stare I know it well. I’m not sure I’m quite ready for it either but it’s worth a pop. Tomorrow morning will be tough! Thanks for commenting.

  • Christine Martin

    Are you allowed actual visitors during you detox?

    • Hey CM, of course, real visitors appreciated. Thursdays best for me!

  • Mel

    Awesome plan, I wonder how many days it will take to get over the “hump” of moving from wanting to Retox to enjoying the extra time you’ll have each day. And then there’s the Retox itself, will you jump straight back in with full immersion, or try to ease back slowly, one tweet at a time….

    • Sadly Mel I was never able to full detox and feel rather retoxed to be honest! New blog post coming soon! Thanks for your comment.

  • Wow how much would I love this. We might be in Italy next year so will be in touch. thanks for commenting. Kate x

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  • I think this is something we should all do as a regular ‘mental health’ practice. Looking forward to hearing how it went. Good luck with it Kate!