Saturday, April 12, 2014

Digital Detox, Pros and Cons

by Mary Kennedy

Do you remember when I posted some photos of Ft. Lauderdale a few weeks ago? The post was all about enjoying the sun, the sea, the sky. What I didn't mention was that I went digital-free (well, almost). It happened quite by accident, I didn't realize that Wi-Fi reception at the condo would be so iffy.

What did I learn in two weeks without any handheld electronic devices?
First, the cons. I'll list them for you.
1) How would I stay in touch with my wonderful Facebook friends? How would they manage without my scintillating humor, my sage advice? (It turns out they did just fine on their own.)
2) Who would post kitty photos? I have dozens of animal-loving friends, and how would they manage without my adorable animal photos?  (newsflash: they posted their own adorable kitty photos.)  
3) How would I keep up with "the loops"--those wonderful groups that discuss writing, the book biz, our own personal trials and tribulations and successes? I would be going home to 14 days of e-mails and digests. How would I cope? (actually, it worked out fine. I enjoyed skimming through the e-mails, celebrating my friends' successes, and commiserating on their disappointments. It is never too late to chime in with a "congrats" or "rotten luck!")
And now the "Pro." It was a totally liberating experience!! I did have books to read, thanks to my trusty Kindle which I tossed in my purse at the last minute. I felt lighter, more care-free somehow, without the obsessive need to check e-mail several times a day.
How about you? Did you ever attempt a digital detox? How did it go?
Mary Kennedy


bookwomen said...

I go digital free for two weeks every year and I do not miss it at all. My husband and I rent a beach house on a small Caribbean Island, no wifi, no phone, no TV. Just sun, beach, and books. Only 10 months till the next trip.

SueAnn said...

There are times, I am too tired, too busy, or the computer is too slow, that I go digital free..and I found, over time, that the digital world, like the real world, still rotates, with or without me. I don't stress over it, like I use to a few years ago....sometimes it is a relief to NOT be on the computer.

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Bookworm, that is a great idea!! I should make it an annual event, too. Maybe semi-annual, it's only been two months, but I feel like I need a little more de-toxing. :-)

Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

Sue Ann. love your comment, "the digital free world, like the real world, still rotates, with or without me." My experience was exactly the same, the world didn't fall apart! :-)

Mary Jane Maffini said...

I love this, Mary! Especially the way you decimate the excuses we use and the anxieties we are prey to. Go you! I will work up the time courage to do this.

In fact, I'm even considering one day a week. So far have failed miserably on that.



Dr. Mary Kennedy said...

MJ, one day a week? We should make a pact and hold each other to it.. (either that, or maybe join a support group. "Hi, my name is Mary, I'm addicted to digital devices." :-) Thanks for stopping by!

Aurian said...

I love the internet but it sure is a time suck. So when going on vacation, I won't go to any trouble to have access to it. I will find out what has happened when I go back home. Although wading through hundreds of emails is a big chore as well.

Book Dragon said...

I tried to go two weeks one year and I just limited my self to no blogging. I made it a week. Now I slow down during the summer months and usually go offline during vacations. Between Facebook, imgur, blogging and Pinterest, I'm surprised I get as much read as I do!