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The digital detox

Posted on 5/08/2016 by Jerri Howlett

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My phone is glued to my hand, 24/7, I’ve had a cracked screen for going on 3 months now because I cannot bear to part with it for a mere few hours to be fixed, sad but true. But are you like me, a digital addict, or are you part of the digital detox?

Ofcom have found that one in three UK Internet users (i.e 15 million people) have announced that tech is taking over their life and have in turn staged a ‘digital detox’ in order to regain control over their devices.

The watchdog also found that many Internet users relished their self-enforced breaks, with a third (33 per cent) reporting they felt more productive; and 27 per cent describing it as ‘liberating’, while a quarter said they ‘enjoyed life more’. On the negative side, 16 per cent of detoxers reported experiencing ‘FOMO’ during their break, 15 per cent described themselves as feeling ‘lost’, and 14 per cent as ‘cut-off’.

I know which category I fall into but from personal experience I have found the social sites have made it extremely difficult to partake in the digital detox. Facebook is a prime example of this, the simple deactivate button is no more and has now developed into a probing investigation with the company wanting to know why you are leaving (out of the multiple options they provide), and when you’ll be back (automatically signing you back into the platform after 7 days).

Once you pass the interrogation and choose to leave the social site permanently you are eventually lured back in by email notifications of missed messages, which poses the question is it possible to have a permanent digital detox? when statistics show the average person spends in total one day per week (25 hours) online, with 42 per cent reporting they go online or check apps more than 10 times a day, and a truly addicted one in 10 (11 per cent) accessing the Internet more than 50 times daily.

And how long should a digital detox last? With platforms such as Linkedin now a valuable asset to any business person can you afford to take a rejuvenating break from the online social world?

I would love to hear your thoughts on this…