Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Technology Detox for the Seriously Wired

Could it be that a day will come when destinations will actually promote their "no Wi-Fi" status? 

As so many hotels have scrambled not to lose their business clientele and as more and more workers are expected to be in touch during non-working hours, the American vacation has gone the way of the Dodo bird and the planet is increasingly wired. It is very difficult to locate a place that doesn’t have some kind of ability to tap into the internet.

Dropping out of the world's many cell phone networks requires finding a very remote vacation spot. Over ninety percent of the world's population currently has cellular coverage of some type, according to Wireless Intelligence, a data research service provided by the GSM Association, a trade organization of mobile operators. 

Seeing as my job has me connected more hours than not, the idea of unplugging seems both frightening and healthy to me. I can also see how there is an emerging need for a special detox from technology. Are you hearing me, California? Spa owners? I am suggesting you repackage your “relaxation getaways” into technology detox treatments for the chronically online. 

What I see:
  • A tranquil spa-like atmosphere with kindly people who go through your bags when you arrive to store away all electronic and communicative devices
  • Special herbs and fresh vegetable grown on locally owned organic farms
  • Treatments for eyes, wrists, arms, hands, backs for everyone who can’t help but push buttons all the time
  • A choice of yoga, meditation, spiritual walks, communing with nature, etc
  • “Working sessions” for creative online workers who are forced to use pen and paper to come up with technology and communication ideas for when they leave…blog posts drafted in pencil, etc
  •  A track for presentation skills without the use of any technology
What do you think? What else would a Tech Detox have? How long would it be? What would the desired outcome be? 

Personally, I think it would be refreshing for us all to remind each other of how interesting it can be to do things in a different manner than we are used to...to plan presentations with paper rather than PowerPoint...to be forced to use other slower forms of communication...


Om.

2 comments:

  1. Hi Kiki -

    Interesting idea. I took a few digital-weeks-off in 2009. Two Weeks in August and several days recently in December. Here are some things that I noticed about myself:

    (1) I read a lot. Since, most of what I read are articles, blog posts, etc. online - I did not recognize how much I read. So, I was surprised when I read 4 books during a two week vacation this summer. Since then, I try to schedule some off-line reading time each week.

    (2) I suffered "blinking light" withdrawl on my blackberry. I was addicted to that blinking light on my blackberry. I felt like each email needed to read immediately. When I took my digital vacation, I left my phone at home. At first, I struggled. After a few days, I started to not miss it. When I got home, I turned off the automatic email updates to the phone -no more blinking light.

    (3) I think better when I start by doodling on a scrap of paper. Normally, I would start building a presentation or writing an article or blog post on the computer. During my digital break, I noticed that I did a better job of pulling together ideas and framing concepts on paper than when I start with the computer. When I start on the computer, I start editing material too early. In the end, it probably takes longer and does not come out so well. Now - I try to start on paper.

    Happy New Year to you! Thanks for the interesting post.

    - Sam

    @samueljsmith

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  2. If only I had legible handwriting! My problem with writing on paper is that my handwriting is truly horrible and my hand cramps up after like 2 minutes, so I've grown too used to and dependent on typing. I can't write as fast as I can type, and what I do write I can't read!

    I would love a tech detox--and I honestly do try in small ways to do it, especially when I'm on vacation. I'm the same as Sam--I read a ton, so vacation for me means reading 4-5 books in a week. I try to maintain a book a week when I'm not on vacation...but now that I discovered the Kindle app on the iPhone...

    The good news is that I saw that the Broadmoor offers a "Blackberry burnout" massage!

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Thanks for your comments!