Digital Detox by Nick Youngson CC BY-SA 3.0 ImageCreator

#DryJanuary, #Veganuary or #DigitalDetox anyone?

Welcome to 2019 and with the start of a fresh year come the many promises of a “New Year, New Me”. Thanks to social media and its hashtags it is easy for everyone to find a bandwagon to jump on – For those looking to give their livers a break after an indulgent festive period we have #DryJanuary, can’t face the thought of returning to work without a drink, #Ginuary. Want to change your diet and help the planet? Try #Veganuary. There is even #Januhairy for the bold, hirsute ladies amongst us! It would seem January is the month to try something new or maybe the noun January is just a great ingredient in a witty portmanteau…

If you’re not tickled by hairy-legs or can’t live without meat but are looking for a new challenge or perhaps an easy New Year’s resolution, then maybe follow me and try a Digital Detox in the form of screen free evenings.

All too often I come home from work, go through my usual evening rituals (feed the cat, feed myself) and then sit in front of the TV, phone in-hand, until my blinking eyes tell me I’m done for the day.  The next day I wake and grumbly head to work resentful that I haven’t achieved anything the night before.

I’m making this pledge (and worryingly making it public means I’ll have to stick with it) to spend one night a week away from screens. There is nothing I do that can’t wait until the following day. Thanks to the change in technology and rise of internet streaming most of my TV viewing is on-demand which means by its very nature it will be available when I demand it in the following days. Social Media posts can wait. Exotic dinners, funny cats and new-born baby snaps will all be available for witty comments tomorrow. Emails, which are mostly newsletters and junk that slips through the filter, can be filed later.  I might miss some bargain shopping deals but I also might save some money by not being tempted…

Everyone always says I wish there were more hours in the week and by pledging to steer clear of the screen I’ve just been handed an extra few hours a week. My extra hours will be spent cooking a decent healthy meal (with meat, I’ve not been tempted by #Veganuary just yet!), completing my task of reading more books than last year, learning a new skill and spending more time with my wife without the glowing distraction of a screen. All things I would have otherwise had to try and squeeze into a busy evening schedule filled with visual distractions.

Technology is great but sometimes it becomes a bit too much and having a switch off does us all good. Have I swayed you to give it a try or have you made any other tech related promises to yourselves?

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