Is it time for a "Digital Detox?" (Digital Detox - Part 2)


Sandie O'Neill is a digital inclusion evangelist, coach and Tribal Leader at The Agile Village. She facilitates workshops utilising the LEGO® SERIOUS PLAY® methodology to build online communities.

Her vision is an empowered connected world where everyone has a voice.


My previous blog, ‘Technology, who needs it?,' was quite humorous, but underlying that humour was a glaring truth, I am attached to my technology. It is woven into all aspects of my life. From my computer, iPad and phone through to my Smart TV and the computer in my car, its tentacles reach in to every corner of my world.

Over the past two decades, the digital world has become increasingly central to all our lives, and while it enhances them, I also believe it’s important that we make sure it doesn’t take over. It’s vital that we still connect face to face, take time to smell the roses and see what is going on around us without the lens of a device separating us from the experience. That we use all our senses and we are truly present in the moment.

I am not a luddite, suggesting we throw our phones out the window, in fact I would be horrified if you expected me to do that. But there are ways we can use technology responsibly, setting boundaries and creating balance in our lives.

Do you find yourself panicking if you haven’t checked your social media recently, needing to take a snap and record every minute moment of your life, not able to get through a day without talking to Siri and I daren’t even ask what happens if you think you have lost your phone! Then maybe its time for a bit of intervention.

With the new year around the corner, it’s a fantastic reason to commit to a digital detox. A good place to begin is to think about the digital areas of your life. Keep a diary for a couple of days. Note when you use technology, (think about all areas of your life, not just your phone) and what you use it for?  The diary can help to identify any areas of concern or even raise awareness, you might be surprised at how often you are connected.

Some individuals will be able to go cold turkey and cut themselves off from their technology quite quickly, others of us need to work at it and start small to help ensure success. A detox can be as short as an hour or as long as days or weeks.

Start by setting yourself three goals. They could be as simple as only checking your social media once a day or no phones at the dining table, both at home or when eating out. At the workplace it might be holding a meeting with no technology or only checking your emails once or twice a day (a note in your email signature can alert people to this and advise that if it is urgent they need to call). Each one of us is unique and our detox solutions will need to be tailored to suit our circumstances.

And what to do in your downtime, the sky is the limit, the possibilities are endless, after all what did we do before we had technology?