Type: Blog Post (Markdown)
Title: Taking a Digital Fast.
That’s a term I dislike. But a “Digital Fast” is the one LifeHack have adopted so I’ll settle with it for now. The idea is to take a 24 hour period completely disconnected from the Net to a) prove that you can do it, and b) to get a bit of life back and put your priorities straight.
But they make it sound like a chore.
Go have a read of the article, and then come back.
My partner and I had an online break recently for a whole two days, and it was one of the most refreshing things we’ve done for a long time. I had spent the week working for a client based in London, and with things still flying around up North it was a very hectic week. Fun, but hectic. Deciding that we really needed was a few days break I booked a couple of days in Kettlewell in the Yorkshire Dales (we recommend Littlebeck B&B). It was on a bit of a whim, and the place came on the advice of a friend. This was not intended as a “Digital Fast”, just a couple of days out of the rat race for a bit of R&R.
I got back into Manchester on Friday evening, Cat picked me up and off we went. Driving up, the usual run of Twitter and GMaps was happening until we got north of Skipton. Then all we got from GMaps was a grid, a blue line and an arrow.
“Follow the line! Don’t lose the line!”, so long as we followed the line we were OK. There was a map somewhere in the car if we got really stuck.
But the signal was dead. No 3G, no GSM. Nada. And as we hit Kettlewell it didn’t get any better. No Wifi in the B&B, Wifi in one of the pubs if we got absolutely stuck. All we had was each others company for a three day period.
And it was awesome. We woke at a reasonably casual time, wandered downstairs to a most hearty breakfast, casually strolled around the village, drank tea in a nice little tea-shop and ate at some rather nice pubs. No pressures, no connectivity, just the gentle countryside and company.
We even had snow on the Sunday, which made the whole thing even more picturesque – and did cause a bit of worry about getting back for Monday. Trapped for another day? Oh dear… Alas, it turns out the roads in that area are gritted and cleared more religiously than most major towns and cities so at that point it was easy travelling to get home.
We will be doing it again – next time hopefully for longer. A week, maybe two. It’s nice to have that feeling of gentle isolation.
So, if you are planning on taking your “Digital Fast”, and feel like it will be more chore than pleasure – why not disappear to the Dales or the Lakes for a day or two and enjoy what’s there instead? Enjoy your time away.