I was driving to my weekly volunteer event when the voice of my digital guide chirped, “You have arrived at your destination” — but I was nowhere near where I needed to be.
Instead, with the slip of a finger on my driving directions app, I’d driven 25 minutes in the wrong direction to the neighborhood where I’d had my taxes done a few days earlier.
While there’s no doubt that “smart” technologies have benefited our lives in myriad ways, my GPS fail was a wake-up call to just how over-reliant on these powerful (yet hardly foolproof) devices I’d become. And I’m not alone in finding it difficult to put them down; it’s estimated that on average, we check our phones 2,617 times…not every week or month but every day.
Which is why I resolved, in the wake of my misadventure, to experiment with a “digital detox” and attempt to go screen-free for 48 hours. I was skeptical that two days could make a real difference, but excited to leave emails and the turbulent news cycle behind. What follows is my account of how I did it, what I learned and ways to approach your own tech timeout.