Growing up my entertainment was always outdoors. Getting muddy, climbing trees and running around, it was the norm and I loved it. There’s something special about a childhood like this. Society today consists of emailing for contact, and ‘getting the new book on a kindle’, but personally I prefer the classic old book smell.
I thought it would be interesting to see if a technology detox would be possible for a busy student, 300 miles from home and employed. Sounds scary, right?
Well I was in mixed emotions about this.
On the one hand, half of me was really excited because I get so stressed out when my phone buzzes 626746 times a minute, or if my internet is slow. Even when I’m trying to talk to someone and they won’t make eye contact as they scroll down their Facebook- this I wouldn’t mind not having.
But the other half of me was worried. We rely on technology so much and it’s so daunting to be completely without my mobile phone, tv, computer, iPad, hair straighteners and microwave. But I took on the challenge, and here’s how it went…
Day 1: Friday from 5pm
I walked home from Costa and it was dark and starting to rain. Usually I’d love to curl up in blankets and watch movies with my housemates while drinking a load of tea. But this wasn’t allowed. I got through the door and I was so cold. I put dinner on, got showered and into my pyjamas, and sat with my housemates. My hair was wet. And cold. Ugh!
Luckily my housemates were really supportive, more than I expected. They spent the whole evening with me also off their phones. We played board games the whole night. It was hilarious! We were crippled with laughter, and to push the adrenaline a little further, stair sliding and fort-building took place. It was amazing, and I felt like I was a little kid again.
Day 2: Saturday
I woke up with no alarm (bliss) but weirdly earlier than usual, and I felt better rested. I ventured into town with company, and returned home around lunchtime. I had to work for a couple hours in the evening so that took up some time.
That afternoon I picked up a book without an academic purpose for the first time in years, and boy was I excited. I had a coffee, got reading, and kept warm in blankets. I had never had this mini combination before as I’m usually so busy, and it felt so freeing.
After a mini nap I woke up and decided to make dinner, I put in more effort than usual because I felt relaxed. My housemates chipped in and we all made risotto together, it was lovely.
Day 3: Sunday until 5pm.
The last day was when I started to get a little twitchy. I was conscious I probably have a lot of emails to respond to, texts to answer, Facebook to respond to, snapchats to clear, tweets ect.
I suddenly felt anxious and not sure what to do with myself. I was out of the technology trap but yet still a slave to it to a certain extent. My hair is a huge frizz, really curly and I cannot straighten it. I wanted to go back to bed until 5pm but apparently I wasn’t allowed to. I was invited on a countryside walk. I didn’t really have much energy but I gave it ago.
It was beautiful, and autumn is really proving itself to be the most beautiful season yet. We found trails that are new to us and after a while, we manage to scoot our way back to some shops, have a browse at the winter collections and buy another board game- Monopoly.
We got home and started dinner, brews are made and monopoly kicked off. It was a riveting game and dinner was burnt, but we were too engrossed to care.
5pm arrives, the first thing I did was put music on, and attempt to catch up with admin. 10 minutes later I got distracted; I straightened my hair and watched Sunday TV (movies) with my fellow, supportive housemates.
Overall I found it really freeing without the commitment to technology, I was more present with people, and out of respect they were with me too. I have a lot of appreciation for everyone who made an effort with me, and even suggested tech-free things to do.
It’s no secret I’m the daughter of some Afro-man relative, and I apologise to anyone that realised how much of a safety hazard my frizz can be.
I feel as though technology is perhaps relied on a little too much these days, and relationships are created via a plastic screen rather than true presence. The feeling of being outside on a Sunday was cleansing, and curling up cosy after it was perfect.
It was great visiting the child in me, chair sliding, building a fort and playing games but loving every minute of it.
I’d love to do this again, but for longer in the summer.