What I learned from a week unplugged

Plugging back into the grid The past week Charlotte and I have been on an Internet Detox. If I said I didn’t miss the internet, I’d be lying – but it’s definitely been an enlightening experience. As I said to a friend over Facebook chat (fitting, right?).

It’s crazy how much we rely on the internet, and when it’s gone, it’s scary. For a bit anyway. But then you settle down and realise how much of life is wasted on constantly checking notifications and the implications it has on the real life connections with people around you.

I hadn’t noticed just how much being continually connected to social networks had affected my life (first world problem alert!). Before going to bed, right after waking up, during an ad break – always checking for something new.

Switching on my phone’s Wifi again was exciting, then after opening Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, waiting for all my emails to download – and after sorting through all the junk and irrelevance – I would have thought I’d have missed more. In reality, I’d hardly missed a thing.

A lot of my life revolves around this vast interconnected world of computers and have only just learned that it’s okay to not instantly reply to everything. Not every photo, status or tweet needs to be liked, commented or retweeted. The best part of coming back from a week off was my feed – everything was new again! Imagine going to Facebook, Instagram or Twitter, scrolling through and not reaching something you’ve already seen or getting to where you left off last time. Refreshing!

It’s reminded me that the internet is there to serve. Not to be served by us. And it’s okay to switch off for a bit. Those little notification bubbles have been given a lot of importance from us, but actually, if something is so urgent that it needs your immediate attention, your phone will ring.

It’s as simple as that.

As for passing the time – it was all about the Gin Rummy (such an awesome card game!), reading books, exploring and enjoying watching uninterrupted films. I noticed as well that I was sleeping better and my dreams were way more vivid (and somewhat spiritually profound…) – that, and you can OD on chocolate snacks. Seriously. Don’t replace a day’s food intake just with chocolate. It’ll end badly.

Now, tell me – would you, could you or have you given yourself an internet detox before? If not, you should try it.

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