Curious to explore their relationships with technology, Kelsey, Sepi and Laurie each took one day off from all their devices. Read on for the results.
What did you learn about yourself and what did you learn about others from your day off the grid?
I have a very strong addiction to my phone and a worry that I am missing something (emergency, fun news, etc) throughout the day.
I had a couple periods of anxiety. I have a small child and I was terrified I would be missing an emergency call to report that he has broken his arm or something of the like. But alas, I missed nothing. Rationally I knew this would be the case, but your mind runs away with the unknown - hence the addiction to my phone. Even the things I did “miss” - the text from a friend checking in, the banter on social media - was easy to catch up on later.
What devices or contact did you miss?
I missed checking in with my friends and family throughout the day. I’m usually very much in contact with them so my day felt a little quiet for that reason.
What devices or contact did you definitely not miss?
I don’t miss the doom scrolling of social media. It’s a habit now that if I have any type of downtime, even a moment waiting in line at the bank, I am scrolling through Instagram.
Now that you have had a day away from your devices, do you have judgments about where technology has had a positive impact on your life and where it has had a negative impact on your life?
Absolutely - it has a positive impact because it allows me to be more connected to my people more than ever before. That makes me feel good. But the negatives far out weigh the positives - the amount of time I spend scrolling around on the interwebz is shocking. I always complain that I don’t have enough time to do this or that. But that’s absolutely not true. My phone usage daily shows me that!
What was the first thing you did when you got your devices back?
Checked in with my people. Sent out a text to everyone I know - “I’m backkkkkk!"
How do you think you'll change your relationship with technology after your detox?
I have tried really hard to implement some stricter boundaries with my phone. When my son and I get home for the day, the phone goes in a basket on the counter until he falls asleep. These nights with him asking me to play games or draw or have a dance party are fleeting and I want to be present.
I am not perfect and don’t adhere to it every night but this digital detox day will always be a good reminder that what I am missing is actually the gift of being truly present where I am, instead of on my phone. I am going to try to do one day a month where I put my phone away for the entire day. It was a breath of fresh air in this digital age.