I’ve just spent a week on holiday in Cuba where there is very little access to internet. It’s the second time this year that I have travelled there and I loved being disconnected from the internet. Here’s why:
- I actually felt like I had a holiday away from my everyday life
- I got to relax and clear my mind free from the distractions of social media
- I connected with the people I met without short-changing my attention to them
- I got a break from feeling like I had to keep up with other people in my life
- I didn’t miss it
Of course I could have paid for access codes to be able to get onto the internet, but I decided that for the sake of a week, I could manage without the rest of the world and the rest of the world could manage without me.
And it was the best thing ever. I almost dreaded turning the phone off flight mode when I arrived back in Europe. When I did, I was inundated with Facebook notifications and WhatsApp messages. It was overwhelming.
Don’t get me wrong – I love keeping in contact with people in my life. It’s lovely when a message drops in or I get to drop a message to someone else and get a reply. But I fear I’ve become over-reliant on being reachable all the time.
There was something nice about going back to non-digital days. I got to look up, notice what’s around me, think, enjoy, and connect. Yes, I connected by being disconnected!
And so I’m going to do better at staying disconnected. I’m going to call friends rather than message them. I’m going to unfollow noise on Facebook. And I’m going to restrict phone and social media time so I can increase my own personal productivity.
Are you up for the challenge too? What would building some digital detox into your life create for you? Choose to connect with the human beings around you. Put aside the rest of your world to be the world for the person you are at dinner with. I guarantee it will be the best gift you will ever give them.
Dare to do it!