At the beginning of September Leigh Terry invited us to take part in Switch off September. Switching off our technology for a single weekend. How many of you took part? How did you find it?
Rather than just do one weekend I had something a little more extreme on the agenda. No phone, no IPad, no computer as well as saying good bye to beds, showers, flushing toilets, shops, TV and a host of other modern luxuries. No it was not some kind of strange torture it was a trip of a lifetime kayaking down the Grand Canyon.
14 day 226 miles 116 rapids.
Obviously the kayaking was the main draw here, not just get away from the emails and phone calls as appealing as that was. However I have to admit I was excited about the self-inflicted switch off.
I’d done as much as I could the weeks before At 5.30am on the day of our departure I sent my last emails to shouts of “will you put that ****ing laptop away” and I was done, whatever had been forgotten would have to wait.
It didn’t take long for the signs of withdrawal to kick in! The 3 hour bus journey just felt strange. Hand kept going to the pocket to get the phone out to check emails, not quite sure what to do. I travel on the bus to work every day and generally spend the whole time with an ipad in my hand. I was forced to chat to people instead….
I started to think maybe this would be a bit harder than I thought. Then we get the first glimpse of the canyon and it all starts to fade away.
It took me about 3 days before I started fully embracing no contact with the outside world. Then I didn’t want it to end. While others went straight back to their phones as soon as we we’re off the river I delayed a good 8 hours or so before switching back on. Even then I didn’t send any emails for 3 more days.
I’ve been back a month now the tan is starting to fade but there are some key things I took out of it.
1. Without technology to fill our evenings you definitely get to know people a lot quicker and a lot better.
2. It helps focus on what’s going on around you. Rather than being tied up with everything else.
3. I was taking much more time to look around. Not hard when it’s such amazing scenery. But we live in a pretty amazing city and I know I am often to absorbed to notice it.
4. It’s OK to be unplugged from technology (but it’s still important to pack a fancy dress costume this was a surprise to me as well but I’ll know for next time).
5. Holidays to out of the way places where it is possible to totally switch off are the best. I need to do more!
Two weeks being totally switched off rather than slightly switched off has definitely given me a bit of a reset.
Anyone up for an OMD switch off camping trip?