I am going to be the first to admit to you all that us Digital Sabbath girls have had a little trouble practicing what we preach. After we agreed unanimously that for authenticity’s sake someone needed to experience digital destitution, there may have been just a little pass-ag discussion over who the first one would be to pull the plug.
“I have an assignment due”
“I need it for work”
“I will do it for half a day… while I’m at work…”
“I’ll keep my phone just in case my mum calls, I can’t and don’t ignore mum’s calls”… since when!?
With memories of my last ‘fall off the face of the earth’ nagging away at my morals, I confess my comment was the worst…
“Can’t we pretend we did it?” …
So as a punishment for even considering such deception I did it first. Albeit for two days. But it’s a conscious effort!
If you’re anything like me, you are probably reading this with five other tabs open, you’re listening to music, and your mobile is within easy reach, natch. We are digital natives, the iGeneration, and we are always plugged in, always connected, always on. You probably check your phone first thing in the morning and last thing at night (or is that just me?)
So when I read that the Internet could be rewiring our brains, rendering us unable to concentrate, making us less empathetic and more prone to depression, I started to wonder, why do I feel like I can’t switch on and off as I please? Enter the Digital Detox. The rules: No mobile phone. No computer. No TV. For two. days.
Lucy and Sarina’s detoxes were the investigation’s stepping off-point. Having personal experiences under our wing, the next step was to find fellow Australians – if they existed – who had similarly attempted a Digital Sabbath.
A quick Google search hit upon Sydney copywriter Kate Toon. “I’m a digital junkie. A serious addict,” she writes on her blog. “If I’m not ‘facebooking’, I’m ‘tweeting’. I Google myself almost daily. I join at least three new social network or directories a week. You know all those links that people post? I read them. All of them. And then I comment. And then I comment on others’ comments … I get emotional when I see the rainbow wheel. If the internet connection wavers I come out in a cold sweat.”
Her digital habits compelled her to attempt a week long switch-off. We contacted her to see how it went →