In the always-on, hyper-connected world we live in, wouldn’t it be nice for a time to just … unplug?
Over two thirds of adults admit to being addicted to their phones. We tie ourselves to social media channels, keeping track of dozens of virtual conversations at once, forever refreshing the page to see the latest updates. News, gossip, games and of course the most recent video clips must be consumed at all times. And work is never more than a tap away, and with it the pressure to answer emails and check reports on your phone at all hours.
This is why more and more people are opting for a digital detox. To put down the phone, step away from the screen and choose to experience a life not on the net.
But going cold digital turkey isn’t always the easiest. When you’re literally surrounded by Wi-Fi all the time the siren song of the internet can be hard to overcome and the urge to pull your phone out on for a quick scroll or status update can easily become overwhelming. Our recommendation? Minimise your exposure to temptation. Turn off the router. Put the phone out of reach. Use a programme that limits internet time. When it comes to shaking off a bad habit, there’s absolutely no shame in stacking the deck in your favour.
One of the best ways to break free of digital dependency – even if just for a short time – is to go somewhere you have no choice about connecting to the net. Book a stay in a Wi-Fi-free cottage and you can enjoy a holiday away from the nagging demands of notifications, alerts and pings and the stress they bring with them.
Wi-Fi-free cottages come in all shapes and sizes, from refurbished farmhouses and barn conversions in the heart of the British countryside, to modern properties where the sea is just a pebble throw away. And of course, they are a great base for exploring all the attractions the local area has to offer and rediscovering entertainment that isn’t rectangle shape. A cottage holiday in relaxing surroundings is sure to make the detox process a lot easier to follow through.
And once the metaphorical cord has been cut, you’ll soon feel the difference. All those virtual conversations that you feel you need to be part of will quite happily go on without you. You will quite happily go without them. Instead you can fully connect with the people around you.
Your health will improve too – it’s scientifically proven that too much screen time affects our ability to concentrate and be productive. Plus, there is a physical toll to digital devices as well, with neck pain, eye strain and lack of sleep just some of the ailments often attributed to excessive use of digital devices.
An unplugged holiday is a reset that leaves you refreshed and fully prepared for the return to real life. Digital detoxing isn’t about banning devices forever and ever. They’re far too useful (and fun) for that. Instead it’s about regaining that balance in your life, the equilibrium between real and virtual. Having a heads-up holiday will remind you of all those things that you’re missing while your gaze is glued to the small rectangle in your hand.