Taking a digital detox; my experience so far

Ofcom research prompts my ‘switch off’ season and the surprising finds from halfway through my digital detox experiment.

You are reading: Taking a digital detox; my experience so far

At the beginning of the month, I wrote about my decision to embark on a digital detox this summer. Just halfway through my 30 day detox, I thought I’d let you know what’s happened so far including a few confessions..!

Following the release of Ofcom’s annual communication market report, which assess the state of the digital nation, I found out that 1 in 3 people are choosing to have a digital detox and 6 in 10 people describe themselves as ‘hooked’ on their devices. It was the motivation I needed to delete my social apps in a bid to spend less time on my device.

The inconvenience of a digital detox started on day one. After deleting my apps I felt triumphant and ever so slightly smug. Alas, that feeling was short lived when my colleague squealed with excitement seeing B&Q’s summer social media ‘Shed of the Year’ competition.

To enter, participants had to answer the question ‘Tell us how you’d turn a shed into a sanctuary, and you could WIN one from us, and the Cuprinol paint do it up. Comment below’ posted on Facebook for their chance to win. With ‘ooh’s and ‘ahh’s ringing in the office I felt completely left out. I can’t think of a better competition to have entered or tagged my friends in. To overcome this and to be able to enter the competition I drafted my entry, which my colleague then submitted on my behalf. I didn’t win but the point is there is still relevant content on social media I want to engage with.

Conclusion: Discover a way to filter out clickbait content to keep my feeds relevant and engaging.

Inconvenience number two occurred on day two (I know, it’s going to be a looong month!). My friend asked for the details of a soft play hire company I had used for my daughter’s birthday. No problem! I’ve liked their page on Facebook so I can find the details for you there. Ah. For the life of me I couldn’t remember the name of the company, so my friend had to head to my Facebook profile, find my ‘liked pages’ and find the details that way. In a similar situation I couldn’t find the address for a wedding venue. The first result in Google with the answer I needed was Facebook. My husband then had to complete the search so I didn’t enter the website and break my digital detox rule. Neither were a huge inconvenience but nevertheless it highlighted that social media wasn’t all bad as I’d come to believe. Across all platforms, they hold an awful lot of useful information.

Conclusion: Social media can act as a little black book – don’t underestimate its uses.

Finally, and what surprised me the most, was people’s initial reaction towards my choice to switch off for the summer. Friends were positively mortified exclaiming that they couldn’t believe I was going to embark on such a quest. ‘Why?!’ but more often ‘How?!’ was I going to cope without it met with them reasoning why they couldn’t do the same.

Conclusion: We are far more reliant on our devices than I originally thought, and it’s an epidemic.

I’ll be blogging a final roundup of my experiences at the end of the month, so stay tuned!

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