In our hyperconnected world, going on vacation is now increasingly about going offline. Holidays are the perfect time to try a digital detox. Is this something that any of you have done? Or are thinking about it? Where did you travel to? How did it go? Let us know in the comments.
@urszula: I never went through digital detox on vacation within my home country – the USA. But, your question is important to me for international vacations. My vacations outside the USA have varied in digital detoxification:
- Calls: I have never enabled international roaming for calls. But, I have used Wi-Fi calling on my cellphone. And, I once paid $29 for a “burner” Nokia phone at a gasoline station for local calls in the foreign country. I did this because my cellphone at the time did not support SIM cards.
- SMS: I learned that my carrier supported international SMS at no extra charge only AFTER my latest international trip. So, I have never used international SMS.
- Data: I have never enabled international roaming for data.
- Wi-Fi: I used this for Internet on my cellphone aboard a cruise ship. I also used this to buy and download an ebook on a Kindle.
- Cellphones with SIM cards simplify emergency calling and SMS messaging in foreign countries.
- Hotels and cruise ships often provide computers for Internet access.
- Every experience accessing the Internet on an international vacation spoiled the vacation. Why? It made me feel as if I were back at home instead of on vacation.
- I do not want to know that my home burned down or that my car disappeared while I am on international vacation. I can do almost nothing about these problems while I am away. Getting bad news like that while on an international vacation only spoils it.
- If I am with a tour group or on a cruise outside the USA, then I have no need for international roaming for calls, SMS, or data. Tour guides and cruise directors make sure that I know what I need to know at the right time. I am not interested in outsmarting the tour company or cruise line, whom I am paying for travel expertise.
- Otherwise, I prefer a second, local SIM card for calls and SMS messages. I prefer to engage the hotel concierge for recommendations and directions. And, I don’t want to get calls or SMS messages to my U.S. number. Why? See opinion #1.
@kirkmahoneyphd Everything you said is valid. However, if there IS an MAJOR emergency- I’d like the option of knowing & coming back home.
One thing that I would like to point out about the EU & cell phone coverage. Prior to 2017, if I traveled outside of Poland, I would have to TURN OFF data transmission because roaming was super expensive. However, after 2017, the EU implemented a directive that all member states can have universal cell phone coverage & your home call/data service costs the same anywhere in the EU & states that are part of the Schengen cooperation. It was previously just easier to stay offline while on vacation, but now, whether you’re sunning it up on the Greek Islands or exploring glaciers in Iceland, your phone is never “roaming” and it’s really an incentive for people not to disconnect.
Digital detox will free people from THIS:
What a tragic commentary on our times
That is scary indeed.
This article I just read is at least encouraging and goes to the heart of what non-smartphone designers are arguing in terms of digital addiction.
A part of it, I think, is replacing destructive habits with positive ones. Usually some behaviors are so integrated in our daily routines that the re entry points are super low when we we try to change them. This author has some valid points when talking about making changes that lasts:
This is really important advice.
It’s almost impossible to make negative changes to your habitual behaviour—e.g., don’t eat that, don’t do that, don’t say that—but it is much more realistic to make positive changes where you replace one behaviour with another. This is a principle I first learnt in the context of animal training and realised applied to myself as well. A simple example would be that you don’t train your dog not to piss on the carpet, but rather you train your dog to piss in the grass. I’ve since seen a considerable body of psychological research that supports the same principle in humans. For instance, when I wanted to cut breakfast cereal out of my diet, simply telling myself don’t eat breakfast cereal was utterly futile, but saying I’m going to make eggs for breakfast every day worked like a charm.