Apps: Lifestyle

Digital Detox

Digital Detox
Digital Detox

Digital Detox

Summer’s around the corner and gyms and healthy food FB groups are bursting with newbies. If you’re familiar with our blog, you probably expect to read the review of fitness and coaching software, but this time, you’re wrong.

They say, the modern culture is all about consuming and taking. We think that’s a blatant lie! Today’s pop-culture is all about quitting something. You should quit smoking, quit wearing real furs, or eating carbs and non-organic food altogether. Here’s another thing you should ditch: your smartphones, laptops, tablets, EVERYTHING. Just when we bought what they’d cajoled us into buying, you have to completely get rid of it.

This phenomenon is called digital detox, hinting at the fact that Internet and all smart gadgets are kind of toxic to our personality and behavior. Ironically, they launched the site about it, digitaldetox.org.

There’re a lot of DD groups on Facebook, mind you. “Disconnect to reconnect” is the slogan. They announce DD drink parties, jams and even fundraising events. You wouldn’t miss it on Twitter with the hashtag #TGIDitalDetox either. It a bit like advertising vegetarians in butchers ‘shops to me.

What’s so dreadful about gadgets anyway? The DD fans get it straight: “61% admit to being addicted to the internet and their devices. The average American dedicates 30% of leisure time to perusing the web. 50% of people prefer to communicate digitally than in person. 67% of cellphone owners find themselves checking their device, even when it’s not ringing or vibrating”. End of quote. Oh, wait, this one I liked greatly: 1/3 of people, according to the site, would rather clean their toilets than their inbox. Seriously?! I’d love to have a look at those nerds, I really would. On the other hand, do you hate clean toilets, dudes?

I mean, it is really annoying when someone’s constantly checking one’s phone in café, or at the party or at the breakfast table, but this habit is nothing new under the sun. Some thirty years ago, it was the daily’s sport section, for example. Were there paper detoxing programs back then, I wonder? Like, “10 tips how to dis-read the papers and start talking with people”. Or were they frowned upon only in the 18th century, when they were first invented?

I don’t know. What I do know is, we’re a very social species. Information is what we appreciate most, and modern social networks and Wi-Fi internet just give it to us. Let’s see it the other way about: 50% of Americans can get in contact with each other any minute of the day and they don’t depend on landlines or post service. Even if you’re in San-Francisco and your pal is in Calgary, you’re just one tap away from each other. And still it is not enough, because 67% of cellphone owners keep on checking their phone even when it’s not ringing or vibrating. And I don’t need to clean my inbox, because I’ve set the spam filter and all I have to clean is the spam folder. It’s a great thing, the toilet cleaners should try it.

And what puzzles me even more, is that they suggest disconnecting and going camping. I mean, disconnect and go into the wilderness! Or going to a Digital Detox party. It looks like people with gadgets don’t party at all. Hey, we do! And we share the party vibes with the world. Last month I’ve got a reunion party with my ex co-eds from college. Some of us didn’t make it to the event and we put the tablet on the table and Skyped. The Wi-Fi connection was a bit poor, but it didn’t spoil the experience at all.

So, all above said, it seems funny to me to detox from the most useful things of the past fifty years. It’s like detoxing from the electric light or water supply. But there’re people who have to do digital detoxing; or at least they think that they have to. But it’s a different story.

If you feel you spend too much time with your devices, here are some DD tips for you. Happy detoxing!

Charge your handheld away from your bed. Hopes are high that your laziness will win over your addiction.

Find if some FB groups copy each other. E.g., you don’t need to be subscribed to a dozen of cross-stitching communities. You can painlessly unsubscribe from half of them. Ok, one third. Make it one third.

Find some outdoor hobby. Like gardening or jogging or just going for a walk. Or sitting with a cup of coffee on a park bench and watching people. You can watch birds, but I personally think humans are more entertaining.

Play some table games. There are loads of great strategy games, like Dungeons and Dragons.

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