I am a technology addict. I check Facebook as soon as I get up. I click on my twitter feed whenever I get a spare second. I spend most of my day on my laptop, clicking away on the keypad. And that’s okay - normally. Technology is sometimes vilified as something evil and contributing to teenage delinquency. I don’t see it as that; technology is beautiful. I’ve met so many amazing people online that I never would have had the chance to meet in real life. I’ve heard about causes I wouldn't have got the chance to support. I’ve learnt so much from the internet - it’s a library of information at my fingertips. So, generally I think technology is an amazing invention that on the whole, makes our world a better place.
But there can be too much of a good thing. A few weeks ago, I realised I was often paying more attention to my phone then I was to the conversation I was having. I tried to think about the last day that I hadn't gone on a computer, or checked my emails, or stalked somebodies twitter page and I could not remember a day where I had gone technology free - no phone, no computer, no TV - nothing. And that kind of worried me. If the internet went down, or the power went out for a longish period of time, I want to be fine. I don’t want to spend my time desperately trying to reconnect the wi-fi. After all - there’s a whole world out there!
So I decided to go 24 hours technology free. Easy right?
Wrong. Within minutes of waking up my hands were itching to open my laptop and switch it on. I wanted to check everything - twitter, Facebook, my email account. A strange feeling of anxiety wormed its way into my stomach - what if I missed an extremely important email that I needed to reply to immediately?? I told myself to relax, and tried to forget about it.
Throughout the day, I struggled - I felt like I had nothing to do when I got a few moments of downtime. Then, something happened. I started talking - I caught up with a friend and really felt like we connected over something more then the latest funny video flitting over Facebook. I played a board game with my family (and won). I read a whole book in one sitting. And when I went to bed that night, I didn’t check and double check all my social media accounts before I fell asleep.
All in all, I really enjoyed my tech break. 24 hours without technology was hard, but worth it. Sometimes it’s good to put down your phone and switch off your laptop and just experience real life. Technology is amazing, but too much technology isn’t. Sometimes a break will refresh you and make you appreciate everything modern life offers you that much more. Although I was grateful to get my phone back and start tapping on my laptop keys again, I am no longer checking social media every few seconds, and I will definitely be doing a social media detox again next time I get too caught up in spending life glued to a screen