When everyone’s given up smoking, companies like Nicobate will still make squillions. They’ll just start developing solutions for people who want to get off Facebook. Not that I’m addicted to Facebook. I can quit anytime I want. In fact I went cold turkey a month ago.
When I went on holidays I simply switched off. I stayed away from Facebook. I didn’t look at Instagram. I didn’t check the latest on Huffington Post or any news sites. And, with the blessing of my bosses, I didn’t even open my emails.
I snapped away with my phone and mucked around with hyperlapse. But I didn’t post anything. I just shared the pics with my wife and kids over a coffee. And it felt good.
At the other restaurant tables, people were shooting their meals and typing up jealousy-inducing commentary for their buddies back home. I just enjoyed the food, the wine, the company.
So what did I miss while I was in the moment but out of the loop? It’s hard to say exactly. It’s not that easy to scroll through a news feed that stretches back 30 days.
I’m pretty sure I missed some birthdays. I didn’t notice that several profile pictures had been updated. I didn’t get tempted by a whole bunch of Newslinq click-bait headings that promised to be shocking, unforgettable or the most hilarious thing I’d ever seen.
I missed Joe’s budget and probably a few rants about an insensitive tweet. About the only thing I was a bit miffed about missing was watching my footy team go on a four week winning streak. But that’s okay. I have a sneaking suspicion they only win when I’m not watching anyway.
Now that my system is clear of FOMOtoxins I’m breathing easier. My doctor says I’ll live a much longer and slightly more boring life. Kind of makes you wonder if it’s worth it.
What do you think? Have you ever attempted a digital detox?
Peter Goodall is BCM’s Creative Director