Taken at face value, Ofcom's recent report on the nation's addiction to the internet might seem like the stuff of a dystopian nightmare: we spend a full day a week online, over half of us feel "hooked" to the internet. It's all very scary and if we're being honest, it's all total nonsense... A digital detox will do nothing to make you happier, it's essentially cutting your nose to spite your face, and then the moment it's over you'll just go back to the way you are. Instead you need to change the way you use the internet. Hold it to account. Demand better of it.
I literally look down all the time. We have become a look down generation, void of eye contact and passing conversation. I can't walk to or from the station/office/shop/pub without checking my notifications which then spark an urgency to respond and engage. I'm dismissive of, and frustrated by strangers. I'm grumpy and permanently tired.
A spring detox is just what the doctored ordered. Time to for us all to emerge from Winter hibernation into carving out space and time to recharge our batteries, ready for the Summer. Summer, a time when moods lighten, our social lives increase (in my case, my children's social lives go off the scale) and the work days get that just that little bit longer.
We obviously know that social media represents an idealized version of people's lives, but still can't help envying them. In fact, a few years ago German researchers found that the main motivation of people going on Facebook was to get social gains in reputation and improve their social status. In other words, comparison is inevitable.
An appalling 75% of women say that their digital devices ruin their relationships and intimacy. Conflicts within the couples, higher rates of depression and lower life satisfaction is the price we pay for staying connected all the time. Alarmingly, younger people are even more likely to report tension in their relationships over technology use.
What's the first thing you do in the morning? Is it make a coffee, hug your spouse or check your smartphone? I'm guessing it's the latter. After all, the average person checks their phone 85 times a day, receives just over 100 emails and spends around three hours actively using the internet - so you'd probably need to get going with all of that from your first waking moment.
I've recently joined the social-break bandwagon. This is slightly ironic, as I'm the founder of a digital marketing agency. As a self-confessed social media addict, I took myself off work, email and social media for a month. I really missed it but learnt a lot about how and why I was sharing so much.