Living life online is overwhelming, stressful and all-consuming.
Writing a blog, replying to emails, maintaining a beautiful Instagram grid, continuously posting stories, interacting with others on Twitter – arrrghhhhhh! Even writing it all down makes me feel tired. It is HARD WORK. Especially when you’re told that to ‘grow’, you need to (constantly) ‘sell yourself’.
You know you need to take some time offline when you’ve been scrolling through your camera roll for 1hr 45mins desperately looking for a picture to instagram. And that’s exactly what I decided to do. I was sat on my bed, in a moment of complete digital dismay, when I realised I needed to stop. I frantically started googling ‘where in the world has the least phone signal’ and then ‘how to get to the Isle of Wight’ and then ‘Glamping on the Isle of Wight’ and I found Glamping the Wight Way!
The tagline on their website was ‘Bubbles, Blankets & Birdsong. Connect with the Natural World for a while’. I nearly hopped on the boat straight away.
So off I went to Glamping the Wight Way, ready for a digital detox and a weekend away immersing myself in nature. It is the PERFECT place to chill out and forget about your Twitter notifications. Right by the River Yar near Yarmouth, it is completely rural. You drive down a little farm track lined with cowslip and pull over to find 4 beautiful safari tents at the top of a slope with beautiful views across the fields. It’s almost completely off-grid, you have to heat the tent and the water with a little log burner and there’s the odd solar lamp but no street lights! It’s all about toasting marshmallows on a fire pit, boiling a kettle on a gas stove, and playing cards while wrapped in a blanket.
At 4 o’clock I turned my phone off (timed so that my boyfriend could watch Man U kick off at 4pm the next day *eye roll emoji*) and let out a huge sigh of relief.
This is what I learnt:
I don’t NEED my phone on me 24/7
It’s surprising how much you don’t NEED your phone in a day. Really the only desperate NEED for it is in an emergency. I don’t NEED to post on my instagram story or check my Facebook messages, but we think we do, cause we’ve all acquired such bad habits! No messages or calls came through in the 24 hours that I NEEDED to read… so maybe I don’t need my phone as much as I think I do?
My ‘checking my emails obsession’ is ridiculous
No one, NO ONE is going to email you an amazing opportunity at the weekend. Anyone worthy of an ‘exciting email’ is going to be living their life at the weekend and not sat their worrying about whether you’ll take up their offer of a free phone case for 6 instagram posts.
I spend more time talking and not sat in silence
Normally when my boyfriend and I go to bed, we spend around half an hour to an hour sitting on our phones, looking at nothing, sat in silence. Am I going to remember this moment when I die? No. Am I going to remember a meaningful conversation about his favourite cheese? Yes.
I didn’t miss out on much
‘OMG but what if a MAJOR news story breaks?!’ – then you’ll find out tomorrow. ‘But what if @instagramuser does an AMAZING instagram?!’ – you’ll see it tomorrow. ‘YEAH but what if ALIENS invade the planet and EAT my cat’ – bit weird, but you’ll find out tomorrow.
All that happened was Caroline Flack got engaged and a linen jacket I wanted from Mango came back in stock.
I even texted my mum at 3.59 on Saturday saying ‘HI MUM, just a reminder that I’m going offline for 24 hours! Don’t miss me too much, love you!’ and she DIDN’T EVEN REPLY.
I felt less stressed and much more relaxed
It was so nice not worrying about other people having ‘more fun’ than me. I just tried to focus on having fun myself and not taking a ‘boomerang cheers’ for everyone else to see on the ‘gram. (‘LOOK GUYS, I’M HAVING FUN’). In the constant chaos that is life, it became one thing less to worry about.
The whole experience was a real weight off my shoulders for 24 hours and I actually loved it. That’s not to say I’m going to be offline 24/7 – how can we be in this day and age? But I’m certainly going to make a concerted effort to put my phone down, observe the world around me, listen to peoples’ conversations and just have a nice life – instead of worrying about how to portray my ‘nice life’.*
*The irony is… here is now a portrayal of my ‘nice life’ at Glamping the Wight Way haaaa. Obvs these photos were taken while we were there, but all the editing, uploading and writing of this blog was done after my time offline!