By Natalie Wiles
I am the worst offender for letting work, social and personal lines blur, and it’s all because it happens on one device.
I am guilty of social scrolling. I have a blue light haze around me at random times of the night because my brain is too busy to sleep. I have created a monster in myself. I am … a social addict.
After reading Euromonitor International’s ‘Top 10 Global Consumer Trends 2019’ I decided something needed to change. Could I enjoy switching off, and possibly missing out? With a week’s holiday in Egypt on the horizon, I set myself a challenge – a digital detox and to find my JOMO (that’s ‘Joy of Missing Out’, for those who haven’t heard it yet).
- Put ‘out of office’ on emails and all social media accounts.
- Leave all devices in the hotel room safe.
- Only take my phone on excursions to take photos – no turning on data!
- Find a good book and download some tunes to the pod.
- Book some excursions and activities to experience.
Day 1 was hard…. I actually felt lost! How sad is that!? But things soon improved …
- I rediscovered how much I love reading AND what a nice feeling it is to physically turn the page of a book – #simplethings!
- I posted the odd photo to Facebook and Instagram, not for interaction and engagement or to see how many ‘likes’ I could get, but simply as an online gallery for my holiday – I love the Timehop app reminding me of the memories a year later.
- I did not scroll through a news feed. I realised if something was urgent news that I NEEDED to know then someone would ring me. I got over myself; I succeeded. I stopped worrying about what was going on back home and simply enjoyed myself!
- I didn’t take many photos as I was too busy enjoying myself! I have just enough to have some photographic memories to look back on but the experience itself was much more fun! Who needs 80 photos when you’re whizzing through the desert at 60kmph on a quad bike, watching the most beautiful sunset over the mountains?
- I started to become annoyed seeing SO many people all sat on their devices in silence and not talking to each other. By contrast, I felt so much more sociable – with the camels as well as the people!
- I had far more to talk about when catching up with friends post-holiday, as they hadn’t seen every moment on social media. And while I have lots of holiday photos on my phone, I don’t feel the need to post every single one. WIN!
- I felt relaxed, refreshed, revitalised like I’d had a true break away.
Back home, I wanted to continue this new way of thinking. So ever since, I’ve been trying to find the balance between living life, working and social media. I have set myself a time limit per day for personal social media and ‘work hours’ for my business pages to try and regulate usage.
So far, I have thoroughly enjoyed my extra found time each day – I am far more productive, and my dog is certainly loving his longer walks in the sunshine. I am also sleeping more solidly, getting to sleep earlier, and waking earlier in the morning to make the most of the daylight hours.
It’s still early days, but after successfully finding my JOMO I really do hope I don’t lose it again!