THE BLOG

Diary of a Digital Detoxer

05/10/2015 16:55 BST | Updated 05/10/2016 10:12 BST

When you're on 10% battery by lunchtime and you've charged your phone overnight like some sort of religious ritual, you know you're hopelessly addicted to data.

I decided it was time to go phone-free and enter a digital detox rehab retreat. I was going for a Five News 'story'. In truth, from the enthusiasm my editor, Cristina, sent me out the door with, it was clear she thought I was desperately in need of going cold turkey.

Luckily my digital detox was in Norfolk, so the chance of finding signal was slim anyway.

In the middle of a field, with only cows for company, cameraman Rui and I met Digital Detox guru Martin Talks, sporting a fetching life jacket (sigh...great we're going kayaking).

Martin might have looked like Bear Grylls but this was a man with more than 20 years experience in Digital Marketing. His next mission? Curing the phone junkies.

I have to say I was a little sceptical when the itinerary included 'fun' activities, I thought I was signing up for holding hands with strangers and talking about my feelings.

Time to meet the strangers, who quickly became friends. Four men, two women, mostly bosses of big companies who run their empires from their smart phones.

First activity - kayaking (I knew it!). Obviously I capsized within five minutes. Can't blame that on lack of WIFI. My first reaction while waist-deep in water? I can't even tweet about this.

Before arriving at base camp (a cottage with no electricity and one portaloo), I thought if I can survive Glastonbury 2010, I can get through anything. Perhaps I was wrong.

My lowest point came in the middle of the night needing a glass of water. My usual survival tactic is to use my phone as a torch. Instead I found myself on all fours patting the floor trying to find an exit, before knocking over the entire dressing table. Brilliant I was Mr Bean on a digital detox.

The next day time to 'reconnect', not with my beloved phone sadly but with #nature and #trees. We were sketching - the temptation to draw the snap chat logo was there. Instead I found myself drawing the world's worst windmill in a field and feeling like I may now have lost it.

But by day two I wasn't missing being contactable at all. I was fully off the grid and I liked it.

Getting my phone back was an anti-climax, only 39 new whatsapp messages. Devastating.

So was I cured? I definitely won't hug my phone in the night anymore. Although when I stared into the beautiful Norfolk countryside feeling happy and zen, I did think, how great would those cows look on Instagram.

Catch Minnie’s report on Five News