Digital Detox: Could You Go Two Weeks Without Technology?

by DANNY RUBIN

Imagine a two-week ‘digital detox‘ with no iPhones, PCsKindles or GPS devices. That’s fourteen days without Facebook, Twitter, texting, emails, e-books and computerized directions.

Could you do it?

Four roommates (all in their twenties) recently tried a ‘digital detox’  for NBC’s ‘Dateline.’ The story is in two parts, and each video is about seven minutes long. Yea, that’s gonna cut into your lunch hour, but it’s definitely worth watching.

‘Digital Detox’ Part 1: Accepting the Challenge

 

‘Digital Detox’ Part 2: Fourteen Grueling Days

 

OK, fine. I’ll just tell you what happens. The four girls, who live in Hermosa Beach, California, successfully completed the ‘digital detox.’ For two weeks, they stayed away from their precious gadgets, but it wasn’t easy.

For starters, they began in withdrawal. Literally, one girl claimed she had a headache and nausea without her phone. As days went by, they all learned to appreciate life without technology. Conversations in the apartment, which usually lasted three seconds before someone looked at their iPhone, became deeper and more meaningful. They all said they felt better and had clearer heads. One roommate even called the process ‘rehab.’

At long last, NBC returned the phones, and the girls immediately got back to business. Facebook, texting, tweeting and phone calls filled the space that was once serene and undisturbed.

So much for the experiment.

digital detox
Could you go on a ‘digital detox’ for two weeks? Four girls in California were able to do it — barely.

‘Digital Detox’ Isn’t the Answer

Forget about two weeks. These days, it’s nearly impossible to escape technology for one hour.

The only way to really go ‘off-the-grid’: jump in the shower, hop a flight with no internet or go on a ‘digital detox’ vacation. Hotels will actually take your devices at the door so you can spend time disconnected from the real world.

Cold turkey isn’t the answer. Just like the girls in the news story, we’d go right back to our old ways the second we have our phones again.

The key is to exert self-control and especially when we’re in face-to-face conversations. That’s when our love affair with the smartphone can actually hurt our careers.

For more on technology etiquette in the business world, check out the second installment in the News To Live By ‘digital detox’ series.

That’s coming later in the week.

Do you think you could make it through a tw0-week ‘digital detox’? How do you escape technology? Is it even possible?

Share below!

 

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© 2013, Danny Rubin

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