Do you relish the prospect of a digital detox?

I broke my smartphone screen recently.  Sadly, it was the second time in about 3 months.  Both times my 3-year-old was involved and this time for a variety of reasons, I haven’t got around to fixing it or replacing it yet.

Digital Detox

In the meantime, I have been using a simple phone which “just” does calls and texts.  You can imagine the euphoric first few days of being off the grid.  I realised how great it was to not be constantly scrolling through my social media feeds and my son loved the opportunity to play snake! It was a like an enforced digital detox.

Indeed, I started to notice some positive behavioural changes which mirrored lots of the articles I had read previously, usually around New Year or times when people feel overwhelmed by the constant need to be connected.  A recent article in the Guardian talked about the group of Silicone Valley tech experts who are also starting to switch off, due to concerns of addition and lack of focus that social media can bring.

Positive changes brought about by lack of access to my beloved smartphone

I make more calls.  Going back to a t9 keyboard has meant that it takes quite a while to send a text. It has been nice to speak to people for a change.  I have a proper conversation with that person rather than to-ing and fro-ing with instant messenger. I also find that I need to make a conscious decision to get in touch with a person and find out how they are doing, rather than surfing around seeing what people are up to.

I’m more productive.   I have shared posts about this before but it really does ring true, I only have access to email near my laptop so am more focused on the task in hand.

The reality

I have realised that at heart I do love my tech, I mean really, really love it.  This shouldn’t really come as a surprise, after working for BlackBerry for over 10 years.  I “just” need to learn to manage the amount of time I spend engaging with it.   It feels like losing a part of my brain.  My smartphone has been used to record so much information and to plan out work, personal and family life.  For example, I hadn’t realised how much I use Whatsapp to communicate with people.

The productivity tools have been particularly noticeable in their absence, especially my calendar & colour-note app.

I admit, I am even feeling the loss of Instagram.  It’s a fledgling thing for me but I do love the camaraderie, the giggles and generally the inspiring and creative posts that people put on there. I also use my smartphone as a camera and take daily pictures, whether it be of the kids, plants or nice seasonal scenes.  We moved house recently for the first time in ten years.  It was pretty momentous and yet we don’t have any snaps from the day or images of the new house as yet.

What about you?  Do you think you would miss your smartphone if you were without it?  Does it rule your life or help you manage tasks more efficiently?  I’d love to hear tips on balancing its value and the addictive nature of being always-on.

*About Kandu Marketing*

My name is Ruth Buckingham and I am a Freelance Marketing Consultant. I run Kandu Marketing, which I set up in Jan 2016.  My aim is to provide marketing support to SME and SOHO clients.  This includes, but is not limited to, copywriting, content marketing, digital marketing and marking strategy in Buckinghamshire and beyond.  My blog is a mix of business tips, observations on life as a freelancer and the challenges of being a part-time working mother.

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