I’m back home after a week-long holiday in Almuñécar. Unlike most of my travels, there was no element of work involved. No obligation to blog, vlog, take photos, post on social media or document my time. In other words, it was a proper holiday! As someone who is required to to constantly be ‘online’ as part of their job, I wanted to take the opportunity to take a week-long digital detox, but I quickly noticed I wasn’t the only one who could do with a bit of time away from their phone.
The holiday was with 9 of my oldest girlfriends. We went through primary and secondary school together, and we have all remained incredibly close. All my friends have regular jobs, many of which don’t require them to be online much (or even at all). They are teachers, nurses, therapists, wedding planners. One even works in a laboratory. Because I am online so much, I was probably a lot more mindful of having minimal phone time during the holiday, and to truly be present and in the moment. I had tweets scheduled and the ‘Out of Office’ was on. I had done the leg work so that I could truly enjoy a guilt-free week offline. Getting to do this whilst abroad / on holiday is a real luxury for me.
But whilst none of my friends are bloggers or are professionally connected to the online world, I noticed that they were spending a lot of time on their phones. Here are a few a things I noticed
- The majority of the group had their phones on the table when we were at dinner
- Everyone had their phones by their sun loungers when sunbathing
- Every single person connected to the Wi-Fi in the villa
- It was common for friends to disengaged from the conversation to have scroll / ‘catch up’ on their phone, before rejoining the conversation after the ‘catch up’ was done
It made me realise that its not just bloggers, influencers and those who work in digital who are potentially addicted to their phones. It’s everyone. It’s the way our society has evolved. We are programmed to ‘stay connected’ at all times, whether that’s for work or social reasons, and disconnecting completely suddenly seems like a scary prospect.
I can’t judge anyone who spends a lot of time on their phone, because trust me, I do too. Seeing my friends get sucked into a silent social media vortex made me feel the itch to get my phone out too and do the exact same thing. But I stayed strong and remembered my digital detox pledge. I kept my phone in my bag at dinner, I tried to leave it in the bedroom when I didn’t need it and I moved all my frequently used apps and mail app into a hidden folder so I wasn’t tempted to tap on them. I left my SLR camera and home and took minimal photos on my phone (the ones I did take were just fun photos with friends for my own memories).
A week away from the online world was incredibly refreshing. Although I didn’t completely forget about my pile of unanswered emails and often felt the itch to go and ‘check’ my phone, it was nice to spend a week in the moment. I didn’t loose followers by not posting on Instagram. Those emails were still waiting for me on my return. The world didn’t stop turning just because I went offline. It was a good old fashioned holiday where I took myself back to basics. I can’t remember the last time I did that, but it felt so, so nice.
When was the last time you gave yourself a digital detox and truly disconnected from your phone? How did it make you feel? I’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic. Jess x
Read more about my holiday destination of Almuñécar in my destination post 7 Reasons to Visit Almuñécar