I’m a little tech-fatigued these days. I spend a lot of time online.
The internet is a wonderful place filled with all sorts of things – from work to leisure. In fact, the lines between technology use for work and play are blurring, especially if you work in marketing/communications oriented environment, where in order to come up with good ideas for work, you have to know what’s hot and what’s not online, so checking my Twitter and Facebook Feed is part of my daily routine.
It’s a common knowledge that smartphone-obsession is Generation Y (aka Millennial) pathological addiction. We know it’s bad, but we’re just loving it too much to give up.
Last week I had my first ever real Internet overdose – the realization that I really need to start limiting my screen-time (for some time at least). It was one hell of week that ended with a throbbing headache and apathy for doing anything but eating junk food and watching Sex and the City …on a Friday evening.
Today I day dream about disconnecting from the overwhelming insistence of technology and just go on a long adventurous trip (6 months) without a laptop, phone or any other noisy gadget.
Julianne Wurm has done it for 44 days and her realization about the life without a mobile phone is worth writing down:
There are few things in life that are truly urgent
“Asap” is a buzzword made up by self-proclaimed important people. The reality is, if there is no blood, earthquake or other natural disaster, it can likely wait.
People will wait
Julianne: “I used to check my email right when I came out of a yoga class or the second I stepped out of the subway—thinking I need to be available to people. During my 44 days trip I was not so immediate in my responses and I received not one complaint or mention of it.“
Life without blinders
“Devices are blinders. I was reminded that what’s happening in front of me is infinitely more engrossing than any device. To think that I had been missing so many of the rich details of the people around me because I was distracted by a world that was not in front of me!“
Present in all of my communications
Observing, listening, talking, learning – everything.
More present with myself
Julianne: “I also became more present with myself. I had a lot of meals and time alone. But the value of comfortably dining alone, sitting without a device to be distracted by was an incredibly freeing and stretching experience.”
This autumn whilst on my short digital detox brake back home in Estonia, I felt more relaxed than I had in years. My mind was able to focus on the world around and in front of me. By the end of the 5 days I felt like I had been away for months and didn’t miss having a phone or being online in the slightest.
Whenever I’m travelling, I like to blindly navigate the streets with my intuition instead of using Google Maps. I like to get lost and ask locals for help. By being present and not relying on technology usually leads me to amazing adventures or fascinating conversations with strangers. I have connected to people I would have never have met if I’d been relying on my phone.
Balanced use of the Internet is the key, so from now on I try to be reasonable about how much tech it takes to do the best job, and know where to draw the line between enough and a distracting amount.