Is it just me or is there nothing better than occasionally removing yourself from the online rat race?
There’s always something to see, download, read or someone new to Insta-stalk. There’s always a new funny video. A new status to like, or ignore. A new trending hashtag. A new hate-follow. A new meme to laugh at. A new BBC Three documentary. A new funny tweet to retweet. A new email to read. An app notification to click. 100 Insta Stories to watch on an endless loop. There’s always something. Are we at our limit yet? We have so much to consume. So much more than before. Or so it seems. If you don’t check your phone for 10 minutes you’ve already missed out on so many things. You could spend an ENTIRE day refreshing apps.
Removing yourself from it, even for an afternoon…a day…a few days…it’s weird at first, and then it feels fantastic. You probably already know this. Of course I don’t mean removing yourself completely (I’m not down for the Digital Detox put-your-phone-in-a-drawer thing, mainly because that’s physically impossible for most) but this week I have not once mindlessly scrolled. I’ve checked my phone here and there, sure, but I haven’t delved in deep. I’ve remained slightly, weirdly, out of the loop. It feels….empowering. Is that the word? I think so.
I first watched Stefan Sagmiester’s TED Talk called “The Power Of Time Off” back in 2010 and since I’ve always known at the back of my mind that sometimes your mind and body is craving time off, but it’s so easy to ignore it. Iknow that creative ideas come when your mind is wandering. I know that you shouldn’t ever feel guilty for relaxing. But when your under pressure, or you’ve got your heart set on a certain upcoming goal, it can become very hard to put work on hold.
I went on a last minute holiday with my family this week and for those few days I surprised myself: for those few days, I didn’t care. I didn’t care about work. I didn’t care about replying to anything. I didn’t care about who was doing what. I didn’t care about being in the loop. I didn’t care about my laptop. I didn’t. Care.
Obviously there are things that are on my mind and stressing me out at the moment; and there is always stuff to do. We all know that feeling over being overwhelmed with “stuff”. There are multiple projects in October that are going to be challenging for me at this stage in my career. But you know what? It’s OK to stop for a bit. AND LITERALLY NO ONE CARES. NO ONE EVEN NOTICES. NO.ONE.CARES!!!!!
I slept. I ate. I applied suncream. I swam. I listened to 80s songs. I filled a paper notebook with ideas. I hand-wrote letters. I drank water. We walked up the road to eat. I ate freshly caught fish for dinner. I just let my mind drift and have slow unorganised thoughts.
I feel like a new person.
“In love with Emma Gannon’s Ctrl Alt Delete. So funny & smart, and reminding me of some of my own cringe teen Internet exploits!”– Anna James, former literary editor of ELLE
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