Before embarking on a day without my iPhone, iPad or laptop I did a little research on digital detoxes. What I found was a whole lot of semi-solicited advice, and permanent ‘solutions’ which I did not feel ready for. I am a novice after all.
So, on the last day of our weekend trip to Seattle my friend Breanna and I committed to a one day digital detox. This is our story.
8:00am Wake up.
Not an intentional wake up mind you, but wake up none the less. NO idea what time it is. Reach for my iPhone, it’s not by the bed. Lie there wondering about the time, until I give in and go look at it to check the time.
8:20am Lying in bed
What do I do now? How is Breanna still sleeping? Can’t turn on the TV cause it’s loud. Can’t read, no lights? What the hell am I supposed to do?
8:30am Going to have a shower cause there is nothing better to do.
8:45am Breanna is up and has turned on the TV. No phones means TV apparently.
From this point until we left the hotel we got ready slowly, packed up our stuff, and watched Sex and the City 2 on Lifetime.
Breanna was extra cranky this morning, she said it wasn’t because she couldn’t do her normal morning social media routine, but I think it was.
10:30am We went out for brunch, about a 15 minute walk from our hotel. We had to use a paper map, and obviously still got confused and a bit lost. We held strong though, we did not cave and use GoogleMaps (yet).
11:30am Sat at the restaurant, no phones, no distractions. It’s probably worth noting that despite the lack of phones I don’t think our conversation was any more meaningful than usual. We discussed the merits of having all of our conversations in Pig Latin, and how difficult that would be, and how you would pronounce sure (should it be pronounced ur-shay or ur-say?) The most noteworthy part was likely my lack of ability to Google when I didn’t know something. Being dubbed as “Miss Google” you can imagine how nuts this made me. I had to add a couple of different things to look up later to my notes (pen and paper of course).
12:30pm We headed back to the hotel, we checked out and picked up the car. Probably wouldn’t have been using our phones so much during this process so it was hardly noticeable.
1:30pm We drove around Seattle a bit (THANK GOD for the car’s GPS, otherwise we would have been VERY lost). Stopped for coffee, asked the barista for directions, she wasn’t very nice about it. I wonder if people take the time to ask directions very often, I’m sure they do, so I really have no excuse for her attitude. I’m driving so at this point not missing my devices very much.
However, Breanna was still very cranky.
Afternoon Not having much to report here, so I am going to gloss over the rest of the afternoon. We had to drive back to Vancouver, we used the car GPS for most of the trip. We stopped at the outlet malls, didn’t have much desire to use our phones during any of this time with the exception of Spotify (but I don’t really consider that cheating).
7:00pm We decided to take a pitstop for dinner and a few pics in La Conner, which is approximately an hour south of the American-Canadian border. After taking the appropriate exit we discovered that the “off the beaten track” road we were on didn’t really compute well with the GPS system. We ended up having to use Google Maps. If we had had more time and it wasn’t starting to get dark we might have just carried on, but all things considered it seemed like an okay moment to have a little cheat.
9:45pm Crossing the boarder was when we decided we could turn our phones back on. This was a weird transfer back to reality for us, as immediately or phones were lighting up with the world screaming back to us. Welcome home.
Update: Breanna was still cranky at this point, but a little better. So no conclusive deductions over whether or not it was just a bad mood or if it was withdrawal.
What did I learn from the experience? That it wasn’t really as difficult as I anticipated. I thought I would feel very lost without my phone, both literally and figuratively. Overall I think it was very liberating. It probably would have been a better test to see if we could make it on a day where we weren’t doing anything. The reality was I only had a few moments of wishing I could use my phone, mostly out of boredom. I think at some point in time I would like to try again, but for now I think I am going to stick with my addiction.
Tell me if you have ever done a digital detox, and how your experience was!