Photo Credit: Andrew White, Chester
Il Dolce Far Niente a phrase popularised from Eat, Pray, Love film or book if you please
“The sweetness of doing nothing”or “delicious idleness”
– a fairly foreign phrase to most people but it is a concept with ever-increasing importance in the fast-paced digital age we find ourselves in.
Going away to the beautiful island of Phuket, Thailand I made a conscious decision to take part in a digital detox or as I like to stay...operation 'Going Dark.'
Already confining work to my beautiful office at home and having a no phones policy in the bedroom I decided that this was my holiday and in order to focus more on my personal life - that's my priority right now, I wanted to stay away from all social media for the next 2 weeks.
Here is what I found...
Our devices are distracting and time-consuming. Even without all the notifications some of us are compulsive about checking feeds for likes and shares, I admit I have been guilty of this too. By stepping away from social media and 'Going Dark' I was able to experience more of life. A friend of mine often says 'We are human-beings not human-doings.'
Search Engines are the silent conversation killers. Someone asks a question and without even discussing, thinking and chatting someone Google's the answer and it kills the conversation. I used my brain - my knowledge, experiences and imagination in conversations.
By sticking to a digital detox I wasn't just taking a break from the gadgets in my life, I was taking a break from everything that those gadgets connect me to. By switching them off, I got a break from all was able to spend some time with me. I really do feel like Ariel from the Little Mermaid and guess what? There's no phones down there either.
Studies show that people need significantly less sleep when they are without technology. So not only will you need less sleep research shows you will have a higher quality sleep; and detoxing will make you more peaceful and less agitated. The science - Smartphones—like laptops, tablets, and televisions—emit something called blue light, which is a type of light that the brain interprets as daylight. The blue light actually suppresses melatonin (a hormone that affects circadian rhythm and should increase when you are preparing for bedtime). The result: Your brain feels stimulated, making it even tougher to fall asleep.
The thing about being more grateful is that you truly see how many treasures you already have. Being in the NOW I was able to see the life in front of me, appreciate the simplicity and beauty of the island, enjoying the getaway and unplugging of distractions and making memories that will last a lifetime.
“Beep”, “ping’, “ring”, “buzz”, “flash” – Technology constantly interrupts our conversations and with it we don’t even have time to process our own thoughts and feelings before a WhatsApp, email, Facebook notification or message is begging for attention. A shutdown from the virtual world meant I wasn't staring at a screen. I was looking at the man I love right in front of me, enjoying deeper conversation, learning new things, sharing feelings and laughing, real laughter, like belly hurting laughter.
On my return...
After feeling completely relaxed I returned to the UK with good intentions and high hopes for continuing my digital detox or rather reconnection with the world around me. However, being self employed and finishing my studies as a Nutritional Therapist I have set realistic goals that I tryto stick with.
Weekends off from social media — limited posting and NO scrolling.
Checking emails on the laptop rather than my mobile.
Putting the mobiles upstairs and out of reach in the evenings.
Turning off alerts and push notifications on the phone and computer.
Not taking the phone EVERYWHERE — this means the bathroom or pulling it out at the traffic lights.
Lastly, no phones in the bedroom.
This also applies to iwatches!
I am not perfect but these are goals that I try keeping to.