I was glad to be able to enjoy a couple of days off this long weekend and went with a friend to an island in Indonesia just a short ferry ride away from Singapore. After a pleasant ferry ride, quick shuttle to the hotel and a seamless check in process, I was ready to enjoy the perfect weather by the pool.
Or so I thought! I found myself being more caught up with trying to get on the internet, there was a problem with my telco subscriber and I couldn’t get on data, the wifi in the hotel had horrible coverage and only if we stood really close to reception would we have gotten any wifi, which was NEVER. For anyone that knows me, they would know that I am ALWAYS connected, I respond within two minutes to any message and although I don’t admit to it, my mobile phone is an extension of my arm.
I felt like a digital detox was forced upon me, I couldn’t Snapchat, go on Facebook, post Instagram photos, WhatsApp anyone, and I found myself not taking as many photos as I couldn’t post it up, what’s the point, right? I used my mobile phone merely to tell time!
What was I going to do? I had no choice but to enjoy this perfect weather, amazing hospitality and great resort, argh also had to look at the sunset through my own eyes! Thinking I would lose my mind, I decided that I needed to get a grip and start by perhaps reading the book I brought. Looked up half way through and checked on my time telling device a.k.a mobile phone and boom four hours had passed! Omg, I survived! What is this sorcery? How did I get through all this time without snapchatting!
Jokes aside, this really got me thinking, is being connected all the time necessary? Can we survive by having dinner with someone without checking our phone? Are we able to sit through a meeting without checking our messages or emails and give the person who is speaking our full attention?
As a digital recruiter, it may look odd that I’m talking about a digital detox, but I’m not saying to never be connected, I’m saying that its ok to put your phone away for a couple of hours and get through a movie without checking it, or actually listening to someone having a conversation with you without trying to have another one via WhatsApp!
Not going to lie, it’s hard for me to ignore the flashing lights, but after three days of close to zero communication with my virtual world - an Eat Pray Love saga for me really, I believe that a digital detox has its benefits as the lack of constant distraction allows us to be more aligned in our lives and connected to those that matter in a more meaningful way.