Digital Detox, Day 1


9:01 am: We’ve just left port, and as I catch a last glimpse of Rio’s iconic cityscape, my phone relinquishes that final bar of signal. But I’m feeling strong and looking forward to a few days alone with my thoughts. Let’s see what this whole ‘real world’ business is about.

10:45 am: Ok so the experts may be onto something. It’s been a few hours and my phone hasn’t yet uttered a peep. It’s strangely comforting in a slightly terrifying way. The sun is shining – hell I might even grab myself a lounger and just read for hours on end. This is the life.

2:32 pm: It’s been raining solidly for three hours. Of course, if I’d had my phone I would have known this was about to happen, as opposed to having my mid-morning nap rudely interrupted by a tsunami of rain falling from the sky. Will it pass? I have literally no way of knowing. Feels like I’m living in the Middle Ages.

4:21 pm: Still raining. And there are only realistically so many games of Scrabble a person can play before insanity starts to set in. Am told that it takes a while to decompress – am waiting for promised sense of peace to arrive.

7:22 pm: Starting to suspect that this is one of those exercise/endorphin lies. It’s now been 10 hours, and instead of inner peace, I am damp, bored and growing increasingly concerned for the state of the world. Is it managing without me? How are the folks in Syria doing? And is the word ‘Zo’ acceptable in Scrabble? How did people play these games before Google? Did they just TRUST each other? Ridiculous.

9:45 pm: Just called another cabin from my stateroom phone just to feel the fleeting joy of connectivity. It was not well received. Realise I have forgotten how to communicate verbally. Might be time for bed. Am convinced tomorrow will yield better results – deep breaths and all that nonsense.

Digital Detox Day 2


7:45 am: Almost 24 hours without a single message. Am starting to feel like people are finding my absence convenient. Surely they could try a little harder. It’s 2017 for goodness sakes.

10:30 am: Is it possible for a human to be more bored than I currently am? I am actually missing those hideous ‘We’re engaged’ status updates and endless photos of curiously unattractive babies that festoon my Facebook news feed. I can’t help but feel I’m missing out on masses of irrelevant news that has literally no bearing on my existence. Yet I MUST know what it is.

1:45 pm: I’ve had four helpings of lunch and feeling slightly calmer. Also, unable to walk for the metric ton of food currently working its way through my system. Worried that I will have to be winched off this boat upon docking.

4:18 pm: The sun’s out! Which means it’s time to take smug photos and smear them all over social media. Except, I can’t. So now have to endure beautiful tropical weather without even bragging about it. I mean what honestly is the point of that? It’s like it didn’t happen at all.

9:18 pm: Just been forced to endure an entire three course dinner without any breaks in conversation. I mean I’m talking two and a bit hours of unyielding verbal communication. And eye contact. Exhausting. Is this what the 90s were like?

10:45 pm: Staring at my phone like an addict, willing it to channel some sort of signal from a charitable floating antenna somewhere. It does not. The world could literally have ceased to exist and I would know no better.

Digital Detox, Day 3


10:00 am: Playing ping-pong. Is this really what the world has come to?

11:45 am: Signal! I’m saved! Turns out nothing really happened over the past few days. Selfies were posted. Hashtags were butchered. Baby photos were posted en masse. Seems the virtual world is every bit as mundane as its real-life counterpart. But in future, I think I’d like to have the option of switching between the two.

Things I learnt from my digital detox:

  • Inner peace is not directly synonymous with a lack of LTE.
  • People are far more agreeable when you can switch them off.
  • Scrabble is not a game to be played without Google to verify your claims.
  • It is impossible to predict the weather without an app.