The Accidental Technology Detox: From Frustration to Calm

I am writing this article on a train in my trusted notebook (obviously I have since typed it up) but in essence I am only writing it because of the lack of phone and laptop battery.

A couple of days ago I spoke to an engineer in India, a startup founder in Australia and a designer in the Philippines all over Skype.

Yes, telephones have been around for almost 200 years but as I sat at home I was overcome in awe of what I was actually doing, speaking with someone in India about an upcoming project, my business is international how insane is that!

So, I now find myself in quite the opposite situation; no phone battery, no laptop battery, on a 2-hour train to London.

Is Connectivity Always a Good Thing?

We definitely take for granted the ability we have to search for anything, if you are having a drink with a friend and they go to the toilet (leaving you sitting on your own) do you instantly reach for your phone to check it? I definitely do, my Achilles heel is the BBC Sport app. Even when I have definitely checked it at least 30+ times already, I’ll grab it and check up on some sport.

It is in effect our very own rather expensive 21st-century comfort blanket. Pub quizzes have never been the same since smartphones have become the norm.

This accidental tech detox isn’t actually frustrating, what is frustrating is that I probably wouldn’t have written this and 3 other blogs had it not been for my lack of technology. Procrastination is too easy!!

A standard relaxing evening at home normally involves TV on, laptop or phone in lap, lips barely moving, generally browsing the interwebs. Technology has made the world so much more accessible and shifts our focus towards what the Kardashians are wearing for lunch today or videos of cats wearing pirate outfits.

Sometimes we need to narrow that focus to what is really happening in front of our very eyes. The beauty and amazement of our own “real” world is just as awesome as the world that lives “in the cloud.”

I need technology to run my business, so of course giving it up completely is not something that I am willing to do. Hiding behind a phone, laptop, pixels on a screen (not that ink on a page is much different) and if you are reading this then you are indeed a testament to the power and reach of technology.

I have lost track of the number of times that I have tried to check my phone for messages on this train journey, yet when I look at it, it suddenly hits me like a slap in the face… “it doesn’t work you noob!”

Procrastination is Too Easy

Procrastination is too easy, and even though I was initially irked by the lack of communication available to me, it is the most productive that I have been for weeks. Which, given all of the ‘tools’ that are available for improving efficiency and productivity, it is the lack of tools that has had the best effect on me.

I have actually enjoyed it, so I tried giving up technology for a day. Nothing too drastic, it’s not like I was climbing Everest, just making a conscious decision to remove technology from my life for 24 hours. I chose a Sunday (as it tends to be my ‘slow day’), and made sure that I didn’t have my phone charger, which made it easy not to ‘cheat.’ Definitely felt a bit lonely to begin with, but considering the hours I spend staring at a screen on a normal day, I eventually managed to feel calm and relax, reading a book and enjoying the evening.

Let me know below in the comments whether you have enjoyed an ‘accidental technology detox’ or even a self-imposed detox and whether it helps you think/work/enjoy/appreciate things more.

 

Until next time.