30 Nov 4 Things We’ve Learnt About Digital Detox and Technology in 2017
As 2017 draws to a close, we’re reflecting on some of the year’s technology news. Are we finally starting to get the digital detox message? Or are we more addicted than ever to our devices?
There’s nowhere to hide in the Public Sphere
Bloggers and influencers have learnt the hard way that the things their 16-year-old selves posted on social media can be found and exposed. Zoella and more recently, Jack Maynard, who was forced to quit the jungle in I’m a Celebrity Get Me Out Of Here to defend himself, have faced backlash against the content of their pre-fame tweets. And it’s sparked an important reminder to those growing up with social media. Even deleting updates isn’t enough to limit their impact on your future. And it’s not just inappropriate messages, once posted, images are no longer ‘yours’. They can end up in anyone’s hands. The bottom line? Don’t share anything you wouldn’t want your grandparents to see.
4G is coming to the tube
It’s recently been confirmed that we’ll be able to use our smartphones on the London Underground. A commuter’s dream? Going underground is synonymous with going offline. It’s a chance to read a physical paper or practise mindfulness and take a few quiet moments to ourselves. We envision that tube journeys will become even more lonely, with anonymous riders sitting or standing hunched over their phone screens.
Roaming Charges have been abolished in the EU
Like stepping on the tube, going abroad was one of the few remaining places where our addiction to our mobile data didn’t consume us. We were happy tourists, taking a million photos on our smartphones, but usually waiting for a Wi-Fi connection in the hotel to upload them to our social feeds. Although we’ll be saving a few pounds if we do get lost in the centre of a European capital, we’ve kissed goodbye to the escapism that comes with travel. There’s now no reason to be offline when away, something which most of us have used as an excuse to ignore messages and emails. But, by the way, you STILL don’t need an excuse to be present and enjoy your holiday.
The iPhone turned 10 and we can’t get enough
2017 marks ten years since the release of the first iPhone and we just can’t seem to get enough of our smartphones. They’ve come a long way since 2007. They’ve replaced most physical things, even our wallets to some extent. Fintech is growing immensely, apps like Monzo link our contactless purchases to our phones immediately. It’s exciting stuff, sure. Yet, it feels like every week there are even more reasons why we find our smartphones hard to put down.
These developments remind us what a huge role technology plays in our lives. We wouldn’t be without it, but have we really learnt how to find balance? How to take advantage of technology’s convenience, without letting it consume us? We don’t think so. While more are becoming aware of the negative impacts of tech overuse on our mental and physical health, including young people, few frequently allow themselves a break from their devices. So, join the social movement and let 2018 be the year of digital detox! Are you up for the challenge?