On vacation I do not read the newspapers or view the internet. It is one of the joys of being on vacation and part of my digital detox [see ‘Digital detox with a deep vacation‘ on August 10th, 2016]. We usually take a large pile of books with us and this year was no exception – our shelf of books is shown in the photograph. One novel stood out in particular: ‘Drive your plow over the bones of the dead‘ by Olga Tokarczuk. One passage that resonanted with me was ‘Newspapers rely on keeping us in a constant state of anxiety, on diverting our emotions away from the things that really matter to us.’ Many of us suffer from a Fear Of Missing Out (FOMO) but in practice most changes reported in the media that directly impact our lives happen so slowly that we miss very little by disconnecting for a few weeks and it releases us to think.
Olga Tokarczuk, Drive your bones over the bones of the dead, Fitzcarroldo Editions, 2022.
I am on vacation so I am re-posting something I wrote around this time last year which I still think is relevant.
It’s official – half of us are addicted to our internet-connected devices and a third of us have attempted to kick the addiction. A recent study by the UK’s communication regulator, OFCOM found that 59% of internet users considered themselves ‘hooked’ and spending the equivalent of more than a day a week on-line. They also reported that one in three internet users have attempted a ‘digital detox’ with a third saying they felt more productive afterwards, while slightly more that a quarter found it liberating and another quarter said they enjoyed life more. So, switch off all of your devices, take a deep vacation, do some off-line reading (see my post entitled ‘Reading offline‘ on March 19th, 2014), slow down and breathe your own air (see my post entitled ‘Slow down, breathe your own air‘ on December 23rd, 2015). Now, you won’t find many blogs advising you to stop reading them!
Health warning: OFCOM also found that 16% of ‘digital detoxers’ experienced FOMO (Fear Of Missing Out’ (‘FOMO’), 15% felt lost and 14% ‘cut-off’.