My name is Katie Sadler, and I am addicted to the internet.
Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Email, Pinterest… I work in digital marketing all day, and then spend all evening online. Hours have been sucked away by my refreshing various open browsers online. If I have a spare moment while I’m out and about, I’m checking my phone. It’s getting worse.
But a couple of weeks ago something great happened to me. I dropped my phone and it landed face down and smashed.
It still worked, but would need to be replaced. My contract was about to end, so I was thinking about what kind of new phone I should get, when I decided: this is a good opportunity to start taking baby steps away from my digital addiction. When I go out at weekends, all I need is a way to get in touch with people. I love an app, but I barely use them and certainly don’t ‘need’ any of the ones I have, and so I’ve made the decision to downgrade to the most basic phone I can get. It does have WAP, but it takes so long to load anything, I doubt I will ever use it. As an added incentive, my monthly bills are going to be £25 less each month. Win!
But this really is a baby step. I have a smartphone for work (yes, I carry two phones around with me almost all the time), so if I need to be on work email or need to log in to a work twitter account (or quickly snap something for my personal Instagram account!), I can still do it. So I’m still going to be able to be connected when I want to be.
But in addition to this tiny step, I’m planning to have a bit of a proper digital detox. Peter and I are going up to north Yorkshire on Friday, and I’m not taking the smartphone or a laptop and I probably won’t even connect the Kindle to the internet because it’s already pre-loaded with tons of books. My plan is absolutely not to check anything from Friday – Sunday, and then just check my email once a day next week. I’m not checking Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest. If I see an amazing photo opportunity, I’m going to pull out my camera. OR just look at it and enjoy the moment – imagine that!?
I love the Internet, and until Friday comes, you can bet I’ll be using everything as much as I can to get the most out of it, but I’m really looking forward to switching off and hopefully, connecting a bit more with what’s around me.
I’m also terrified. Can I actually do this? Has anyone done this before (on purpose, as opposed to being stuck in a place with no internet – where we’re staying has Wifi and Peter will have his phone and the iPad so I will need a will of steel not to use them). Please share your stories (and advice!).