I led a yoga retreat in the wilds of Clare in January with a group 12 wonderful people. There was no WIFI and 3G reception was poor. It was fantastic! Inspired by the wise words of one of my fellow yoginis I deleted the 'mindless scrolling' apps from my phone. I felt very proud of myself. This was my opportunity to be more present, to use my time efficiently and become a better version of myself. The lovely couple who own the retreat centre have 3 children and don't even have a television. Surely I could cut down on my digital interactions. This would be easy.
Online browsing and scrolling would be done in moderation and within a strict time frame. Social media communication would be done only when necessary. A quick dip in and out of the digital waters. I had this under control. But I failed. In reality I just substituted one app for another, an old blog for a new one, a gossip website for a wellness website. I had fallen victim to FOMO. I caught myself mindlessly checking my phone in the middle of conversations. I couldn't tell you what I was actually looking at but the message I was sending to the person sitting opposite me is that 'nothing you have to say is as important as what is popping up on my screen' It isn't and it never will be. So enough is enough.
The interweb is amazing. I would struggle to keep in contact with clients without it. We live in a digital world that is ever evolving to make life easier. We have the answer to any question at our finger tips. We are a screen swipe away from loved ones in far flung places. But too much of a good thing is still too much.
From now on, for one day per week I am disconnecting to reconnect. I want to participate in what I am doing rather than document it. I want to sit and read a book instead of my Facebook feed. I want to have a conversation without distraction. I want to taste and savour every bite of my food instead of looking down and wondering where my lunch has gone. To go for a walk without sharing. To meet, greet and eat without the tweet. It is time to cut way back. I owe it to myself and to those around me. The digital detox starts this Sunday.