A few weeks ago I read a piece in the Weekend section of The Times about our addiction to smartphones and mobiles. We just can’t stop checking our phones for texts, facebook posts, emails. In our minds there is a real fear of missing out. And this growing anxiety now has a name – nomophobia.
At the time I was staying in a bunkhouse on Glower in south Wales with my family and some friends. I’d not taken any kind of digital device with me – mobile, smartphone or tablet computer. And it was bliss.
I spent my time talking to people, reading and doing nothing in particular. I felt totally relaxed and refreshed and connected with the world around me.
My job in PR means that I’m always contactable and constantly trying to keep up with the news and spot opportunities to generate media coverage. Its so easy to get sucked in to having your phone as a kind of digital comfort blanket. I have to admit that I’m into twitter big time and love checking out websites for the latest news and features.
But we all need down time. Work today mainly involves staring at screens for hours on end and there is a real danger that we never give our minds the rest that they deserve.
So for the next two weeks when I’m holiday they’ll be no screen time. Yes I’ve scheduled a few tweets. But my tablet and smartphone will be home alone. I’ll be using my newly found digital-free time to enjoy the real worl and re-charge my batteries; not having to worry about emails or keeping in touch.
I suppose its a kind of screen time cold turkey but hopefully it will mean more balance in my life. Its so important to have moments of idleness and enjoy a less technologically dependent period of time. I’ll let you know how it went when I’m back.