The Fears of a Digital Detox

In less than 24 hours I will be far from civilisation. 
In less than 24 hours I will be in a place where the internet doesn’t exist.
Cue (minor) breakdown.

Okay… so I’m being a little melodramatic here, it’s only for two days. Yes, a mere 48 hours. It’s not like a lifetime or anything but it is a long period of time to go without the world at my fingertips. Can you remember the last time you were without it? I believe it’s due to my travelling status that the internet is such a valuable asset in the grand scheme of things. It’s my portal to connect with my loved ones, the news and, of course, social media updates.

The place I am heading to is an isolated rustic lodge somewhere towards the Caribbean side of Costa Rica that takes two hours by van from La Fortuna and an additional two hours by tractor, yes you read right, TRACTOR, to our final destination. There we will find our base for the next two nights and spend our days reading literature, playing the piano and taking turns about the room (or perhaps something a little less Jane Austen). Sounds like heaven, right? And I’m sure it will be. It’s the kind of break we all need every now and then but one that life rarely grants us.  Perhaps this is the reason many of us wouldn’t like to admit that our digital addiction has got a little out of hand.

So what’s the big worry?
Having grown up in the social media boom, part of my life, like my peers, has been played out across the 2D social media platforms. At first it was just Facebook, although as a teenager, we all know the kind of havoc it could cause during our school years. But as Kelly Clarkson sang “what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger” and once you’ve had to delete a relationship off Facebook, you’re definitely a stronger person for it! Then the arrival of Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Vimeo, YouTube, the list goes on... Every aspect of life can be documented in 140 characters, image or video.

Going cold turkey with only the 3D world around me isn’t the scary thought. No, it’s how will everyone else know what fun we’re having if I can’t tell them?!? Because let’s face it, that’s why we’re all addicted to social media, right? It’s like our own version of the Hello! magazine spread for those of us who haven’t married a footballer or won a reality TV programme. Therefore, our own glossy version of our lives gets plastered across the screens of social media platforms everywhere featuring the heavily filtered photos (thanks Instagram) and edited to within an inch of its life (like Rita Skeeter’s version of the truth!). Such is the Social Media Game.

So whilst I’m off “finding myself”, humming in a yoga pose and drinking nothing but coconut water, here are my fears of being internet-less thrown out there for all to see. 
Feeling as exposed as this raccoon pictured on the beach in Manuel Antonio's National Park.

Fear 1.

FOMO. (That’s ‘Fear of Missing Out’, Mum).
Whilst I’m away I’m going to miss 500 million tweets a day (yup, that’s 6,000 a second!), more than 160 million Instagram posts and not to mention the obligatory Facebook engagements and baby scans that will be posted amongst my friends (such is the demographic these days, oh yes, we’re in that phase!).

Fear 2.

Keeping abreast of the news. And I’m not just talking about the Mail Online’s FeMail pages here. Of course, I’m referring to the newly-crowned ‘Worst Political Decision of 2016’ after Brexit and the luminously tanned man that rhymes with ‘flump’. I think we’re all keen to see how the decision impacts the world economy and, as the price of the dollar directly affects our travel budget, it’s good to keep abreast of the fallout (and markets). 

Fear 3.

In the words of James Blunt, “Goodbye my lover, goodbye my friend” to all those Instagram followers that will inevitably fall off a cliff. Not literally of course, but as I’m sure every InstaBlogger out there will tell you, without due care and attention, followers can vanish into the night faster than my WiFi connection drops. Without yet finding an app that can automatically post pictures in my absence (thanks to Instagram’s rulebook), my status will have to be declared ‘AWOL’ for the next 48 hours. Rest assured I will be back with beautiful pictures once I’ve visited the beautiful place.

Fear 4.

I’ll be at a loss for the Family WhatsApp group. Having warned all the members that they should expect not to hear from us for a couple of days, I’m wondering how we will survive without knowing what they’ve eaten for dinner, pictures of the log fire burning and what the weather is like back in Blighty. Of course, I expect that they will also be on tenterhooks awaiting the latest updates and confirmation that we’ve not been eaten by crocodiles.


But aside from all that, let’s look at the positives…
I will obviously emerge from this experience a picture of calm... at least that's how the movie version would portray it. A life with a little less digital focus, as Get The Gloss and Career Girl Daily are always preaching, will bring about greater well-being and (here’s the buzzword) mindfulness. I’ll be saving my eyes from the harsh blue light of technology and subsequent disrupted sleep. I will let my arms and thumbs enjoy a little normal circulation instead of defying gravity whilst I’m laying in bed glued to my iPhone. And most of all, I’ll be taking a break from comparing myself. There will always be people with more followers and subscribers, prettier Pinterest accounts or lustful Instagram posts. And good for them, but I shouldn’t be fooled that they don’t experience just the same social media hang-ups as I do. Kotryna Bass and Sian Richardson are both hugely successful in their own right and often ensure they have time away from the rat race to ‘recharge’. They’ll still be there when I come back and hopefully I’ll have a little more perspective (as well content to catch up on).

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3 comments

  1. I think FOMO was my biggest fear with going offline. But once you do it, those fears go away x

    hannahsnotebook.net

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  2. Firstly, I hope you're having a lovely time in Costa Rica, I would love to visit there someday. It's definitely hard being offline especially when you're so used to being online in your daily routine. Once a month I visit my Scout camp I volunteer at and there, there is no internet (and only the littlest signal) so we basically put our phones away for the weekend and even though its hard, it's lovely spending time with everyone without the internet or your phone getting in the way. I hope you have a lovely time Rose!

    Tabitha xx 🌺 http://whattabithaloves.blogspot.co.uk 🌺

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