THE BLOG

Why Unplugging and Digital Detox Has Never Been More Important

01/09/2014 16:50 BST | Updated 01/11/2014 09:59 GMT

Although January is traditionally the month for New Year resolutions, I'd like to suggest a better month for new positive, healthy habits.

Yes, September, we're looking at you.

Although there is a certain amount of grumbling as we transition from summer to autumn, it's a much gentler time to make radical life changes. It's still light at 6pm, the weather is mild and there is still time exercise outdoors without it feeling like military torture by the elements.

However, as some of us return from summer holidays and get stuck into school calendars as a new term rolls around, it can be all too easy to forget the ease and slow pace of the last couple of months.

So, as a means of tempering a new season of change and approaching it with a new outlook, HuffPost UK Lifestyle has chosen to focus on our habits around technology and how to unplug in the right way.

It has never been a more relevant topic. Kate Bush recently asked people not to film her performance but to enjoy it in the present moment - a poster for mindfulness if ever there was one.

Daimler, the German car manufacturer have set up a system that deletes incoming email if you're on holiday so you a) don't worry about email and b) don't have a mountain to sift through on your return.

And all of this is given context by the news that people are finding Facebook and Twitter more addictive than cigarettes and caffeine, as well as the findings that being contacted by work while on holiday is the most stressful thing ever for most Brits.

So clearly, a conversation needs to be had.

We're not suggesting that you throw your phones away and start training carrier pigeons. That would be as foolish as saying to the guy who just invented fire 'No, no, I'm perfectly fine freezing by myself'.

No, we're about the small, realistic changes you can make to your life. Because like it or not, we haven't got technology sussed.

We rely on our beloved rectangles for everything from telling time to finding out what's happening in our friends' lives, from Googling where we're going to eat to unlocking the mysteries of GPS by telling us which street we're walking down.

But the problem is that our smartphones are not going to say: 'Hey, you've been stalking that person on Instagram for half an hour - don't you think it's time to sleep?' Nor are they going to yell at you if you happen to check your work email out of hours.

So it's up to us to set the boundaries. After all, isn't it exhausting to be on all the time?

It's no coincidence that most of us feel like we don't even have space to think.

This month, Lifestyle's assistant editor Brogan Driscoll will attempt to wean herself off social media when she doesn't need to use it for work, Comedy editor Andrea Mann will buy an alarm clock so she doesn't carry her phone into the bedroom, News reporter Louise Ridley is going to navigate the grimy streets of London sans Google Maps and assistant editor Jess Elgot is undertaking a digital detox honeymoon.

We'll also be interviewing the ladies who run Unplugged Weekend to find out why it's so the zeitgeist while Students assistant editor Lucy Sherriff will be sharing her secret of how she isn't chained to her phone on the weekends.

For everything digital detox, visit our Screen Sense section. And if you'd like to blog for us, please email HuffPost UK Lifestyle.

Stay tuned (and then switch off).