It has dawned on me recently how much our lives are intertwined with technology and our phones and the internet. My phone broke a few weeks ago and I panicked cancelled my whole day and headed straight to the apple store to sit around for two hours for them to help me fix it.
I lost all of my contacts, all of my photographs, even the way my phone was set up. (Quick reminder: everyone to back-up their phones now!) I was devastated.
I felt helpless and didn’t know how to get those numbers back and sad that I’d never see those photographs again.
However it was nice for those few hours to not check my phone, not to feel like there was always a message or email burning a hole in my pocket. To feel like there was no one else in the room but me and not all of my friends and family waiting on me. It felt good not to see what everyone else is doing, or what celebrities have posted on social media.
I spend so much of my time doing this or worrying I haven’t replied fast enough, I think most people do these days. But in actual fact I care very little for what I am consuming. I really don’t care about what you ate for lunch or your holiday, or your new make up line, or the snapchat articles. I really don’t. I say I don’t care but I keep checking and I post the same posts, who cares that I’m having a healthy lunch, why would someone I’ve met once care that I got a new job? It makes no logical sense.
People then realise they don’t care, they really don’t care or maybe don’t want to care and decide to take a break from their phones or social media or the internet.
It sucks that people feel like their lives are so invaded by the internet that they have to get away. It’s funny because you can’t physically get away from it but people reach that point where it feels overwhelming and that needs to change.
The thing about a break is that it is temporary and you will always go back. Of course you go back, in todays world it is so hard not to. I don’t know how well you could live a successful life without the internet.
Maps, networking, keeping in touch with friends, employers, online banking, buying food, music, what to do, where to go, even bus tickets are now on our phones here in Brighton.
Don’t get me wrong I love social media, but I think its going down a bad route, its great that we can share and communicate so much of our lives online as long as it doesn’t proceed our life offline. Which unfortunately it saddens me to say I think it is starting to.
Maybe this is another motive as to why people feel they need a detox. Instead of enjoying an event they are thinking about what they will post online, instead of being present at a meal with friends they are talking to other friends, instead of taking in your location when you arrive on holiday you’re letting your family know you are safe. All of these have upsides like I mentioned before but it just feels like too much.
How do we break the cycle of our lives being oversaturated by the pervasiveness of the internet, to going cold turkey and giving it up for a couple of days. Only to go back to it after the detox and engage with it in the exact same way we did before we gave it up?
You can’t not embrace the internet and use it to further your interests in this day and age, but maybe we need to adapt and change our habits so the internet isn’t using and controlling us.
When your friend goes to the bathroom and you are left alone don’t pull out your phone, look up and around, take in the moment. When you get home after work do you really need your phone in your hand until you sleep or can it be put away for the evening whist you spend time with your family? Maybe before you post your eggs Benedict on Instagram or Snapchat, think if anyone really cares or if you would care.
Be more mindful, will you look back on this post and will it remind you of a good time or an important moment in your life? Chances are probably not; because you weren’t living in that moment, you were just waiting for that nod of approval from your followers.It’s okay to want that sometimes we all do but it’s okay not to share everything also.
The amount you pull back or change your behaviour will be different for each individual, as there are so many variable factors. The only thing I ask is to be more conscious about your use of the internet. For me the most important aspect of life is time, it’s all we truly have. So when using the internet I ask myself, is this worth my time?