Digital detox journey to the edge of hell – BBC Radio Solent’s Alun Newman

In a burst of frustration I booked a week’s holiday in a wooden lodge with only cold running water and a wood burner.

Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 11:29 am
Updated Tuesday, 23rd April 2019, 11:33 am
Alun Newman and Lou Hannan from BBC Radio Solent.

No electric lights, no hot bath, no gas hob, no fridge and most importantly no WiFi and zero plug sockets. It was time my children went cold turkey from the screen.

Myself, wife, four teenagers (two not mine) went back to basics, in a woodland just the other side of the New Forest.

I discussed the proposed detox with Lou, my radio co-host. She was supportive. Lou’s opinion was I was about to journey to the very edge of hell and would be begging for the experiment to end. Was she going to be right? What had I done?

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On arrival at the ‘hut’ I had never seen so many charge boosters and battery packs in one place. However, no matter what was smuggled in, soon the experiment took hold. ‘My iPad’s dead’, ‘my Kindle’s run out’ and by day two, the game was on. How did it go? It was FANTASTIC. Building fire pits, Cluedo by candle light (need at least 10 to illuminate a basic game), wheelbarrows of wood, realising the awesomeness of the fridge, one pot cooking.

The only fly in the ointment was on the last day, I lost my phone. Smugly I hadn’t used it all week.

When I was back in my own kitchen boring my wife with the pain, ‘I can’t access my bank, get music, pick up emails’ my son wandered past and said ‘Can’t live without a screen dad?’  It was a fair hit. The detox was lovely, it was needed.

However, it is with a heavy heart I’m forced to admit without tech I’m as scuppered as a teenager.