Have you ever done a “digital detox”?
The closest I’ve ever come is during my weekly yoga class. When I return to my phone, it feels like days have passed and the world is a different place. I get missed calls, text messages, emails, slack messages, FB chats… it was an only an hour! But, what if you did it for 8 hours? 16 hours, an entire day!?
So, I decided to try it.
I went to Miami for a mini-vacation with my best friend who currently lives in another country. It was a perfect time to unplug and have serious bestie time by the pool. But before I get into it, you need to know that you can’t just go into a digital detox cold turkey. The Step-by-Step:
- Turn on your email vacation autoresponder. I only turned mine on for my work emails though, but in hindsight I should have put it on my personal too!
- Leave your hotel number with your friends/family for urgent calls only. Yes, hotels still have landlines and an amazing front desk that can patch your calls through. Bonus: you can receive messages on your landline hotel phone (what a concept!) Um, I ended up being too lazy to do this..
- Actually turn off your phone and use an old school camera to take your photos. I couldn’t find mine, so I didn’t count phone usage for camera as a part of the digital detox.
I failed at all of my “tips”.
I took the 8am flight out to Miami and put my phone away. Strike one happened when I decided to take my phone out and snap a pic of the Miami shoreline…oops.
Everything was going well, there were no thoughts of taking out my phone even with free wi-fi. After copious amounts of sangria and sun, the photos began on my friend’s phone. But, her silly, old Android was no match for my iPhone 6, so all rules were broken once again. Then, eventually she wanted me to Whatsapp her the photos and suddenly my Wi-fi was turned on.
So, basically my digital detox lasted about 8 hours. I played with Instagram and Facebook but didn’t dare look at my email.
The point of this story is that it can be challenging to let go of your phone life for vacation because we are so connected to it, especially the fun parts like Instagram. Don’t get so down on yourself about being on your phone when you want to take a break. I did use my phone sparingly, just for pictures and posting. But, I did not check my email or scroll through timelines endlessly. I was there to enjoy my friend’s company, relax and explore and I spent most of my time doing just that! No regrets!
Have you ever gone on a digital detox? How was your experience?