Technology break #techdetox - outcomes
Lasted for six days - no emails! No Facebook, no twitter, no LinkedIn, no Blipfoto, no games, no online news, no music, no TV eg iplayer, no audio books or ebooks, no blogging.
It took about 2-3 days to get used to it. On the first day, I kept checking my phone and then realising there was nothing to check so it is definitely a good idea to delete all the apps and quick ways of accessing programmes or sites. I deleted most of the above and with others just moved them off my home screen and hid them. I disabled alerts and I think this is important as it removes that 'always on' situation.
I kept text on for family / friends and had to keep whats app also as some family work in places with no signal but wifi but that worked ok and I used both text and whats app infrequently and just for arrangements.
The frustrating / inconvenient aspects were not being able to quickly search for information eg finding a restaurant or details such as opening hours about a place we were visiting. The twice that I 'cheated' were when I was parking at the park and ride and I wanted to pay for parking. It is easy to use the app on my phone and I couldn't be bothered to go and find change and then the payment machine when it is all set up with a couple of clicks on my phone. The other time was using the sat nav on my phone to get into a city centre and out again. Certain tasks would have been easier if I'd planned in advance such as the parking or navigating and looked at the map in advance. The searching was a real frustration as I'm so used to quickly looking information up and getting on with things so I can't see the advantage of not doing that.
The planning in advance applied to always having a book with me too. The first day when we were out and about when ever we stopped, I just automatically looked at my phone or when I was in Oxford waiting for the others I was bored with nothing to look at. On day 2 at a National Trust garden while waiting around or having a cup of tea or just generally being, I felt I was wasting time without something to read so from then on had a book with me at all times. This improved as the week went on and I started to chill out and relax. I managed to read four books in six days which is quite good and also as the week went on I read faster and for longer periods without getting distracted. I definitely think my attention span or focus improved which is a bit worrying that it is usually poor but probably right as I do tend to multitask or rapid change task neither of which is good.
I didn't particularly miss Facebook apart from somewhere to upload photos of places to and to keep in touch with what other people are doing. I did miss twitter but it was good to switch off and not be constantly trying to keep up with online stuff - it's mostly inconsequential anyhow and it's good not to be totally immersed in a none physical world. I would have liked to tweet about some the places we had been to especially some restaurants which were good.
The no emails has been the weirdest thing - only time will tell whether it is a good thing i.e. This morning when I get into work and see what's waiting in my inbox.
I would definitely recommend a technology break or at least a online communication break as I think that's the important thing - to be able to call your time your own and decide when to reply and engage. To manage your online presence and interactions. But I would so miss technology if it wasn't there, easily accessible and providing information and generally making life better and more interesting.