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Dublin: 6°C Wednesday 29 September 2021

Could you give up all online contact for 24 hours?

It’s one of the less traditional suggestions for this year’s Concern Fast – along with dropping ‘vocalised pauses’.

Image: Shutterstock/Stock-Asso

THE TERM ‘DIGITAL detox’ has become an attractive suggestion in a world of smartphones and constant internet connectivity.

In August of this year, more than a third of UK internet users admitted they had tried to ‘switch off’ for a period of time. While personal digital gadgets have put a host of services and tools at our fingertips, psychologists say that over-exposure can leave us overwhelmed and anxious.

The newer generations are probably even more susceptible to becoming attached to their digital devices. A third of 15-16 year olds in Ireland were found to spend between two and three hours on average a day on the internet on a weekday – and a third of them spent six hours or more a day on the internet at the weekend. The same EU survey had the Irish teens admitting (60% of them) that they “spend way too much time on social media”.

In January of this year, Harvey’s Point hotel in Donegal hosted a ‘digital detox’ weekend, encouraging guests to surrender their devices at the door. Even as far back as 2013, we reported that the Westin Hotel in Dublin was offering a ‘detox pack’ to visitors in return for their devices (for the duration of their stay, not forever).

The concept has become so mainstream that the Concern Fast – which is now in its 48th year – is suggesting it as an alternative to giving up meals for a day to raise funds. They have some interesting other routes to go down that might reflect modern life as we now live it: including driving, smoking, drinking coffee and ‘vocalised pauses’. (Wondering what those are? “The fillers people use in sentences when they talk, such as ‘um, ‘ah’ and ‘like’.)

Would you give up going online for 24 hours? We’d love to hear if you have tried it before (and failed or succeeded): tell us in the comments.

Poll Results:

No, I haven't but I would try (2972)
Yes, I've done a digital detox (2704)
No, and I never will (367)

‘A tour to the past of 15 years ago’: Turning off technology for a weekend>

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