It's healthy to go on a technology detox – Opinion

My family and I are off on holiday soon. This is the time of year when our phones go away.

Wednesday, 24th July 2019, 1:33 pm
Updated Friday, 26th July 2019, 5:26 pm
Verity and her family have switched off their mobile phones for their holiday.

The children don’t take devices with them, we keep a phone in the glove-box for emergencies, and we unplug ourselves from the chaos of the 21st century.

No being pestered by coldcallers, down with emails and pings that rudely interrupt your time with each other.

Up with reconnecting with loved ones, focusing solely on them and your surroundings, and really tuning into life.

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Absolute bliss.

This was a shock to the system the first year we did it, but now we really look forward to it, to the extent that tuning back into 21st century bonkers living is a bit of a shock when we return.


Where has that traditional sense of community gone?

Forecourts must be one of the things that have become somewhat redundant in more modern years. 

Gone are the days for most people when they would stand in the forecourt having a chat to the neighbours, or gossiping over the low walls.

In fact, I expect that for many people, gone are the days of chatting to the neighbours full-stop.

Days of yore, when folk stood or sat out in their forecourts, keeping an eye on their kids who were playing in the local streets, have been and sadly gone.

Knocking on the door of a neighbour for help or advice is now a thing of the past.

Instead, very little eye contact is made, the kids are all inside glued to one device or another, and the sense of community that people used to live by has all but disappeared in many areas.

And, in fact, the very word ‘neighbour’ has ceased to mean the people with whom you share a community or area and is, more literally, the people living on either side of you.

What an absolute shame.

Back in the days when there were fewer cars on the street, and when we weren’t all terrified to let our children navigate them before they were of a practically pensionable age, forecourts were a source of socialization.

That purpose appears to have been lost.

Nowadays, we have vast forecourts with naff all to do in them, except pave them over and stick a bay tree in there.

We seem to have become incredibly introverted in real-life, whilst becoming exceptionally extroverted in our cyber lives.

We are willing to put our entire day online for the public at large to mull over, yet keeping our eyeballs down and our heads low when it comes to real communication.

This is pretty odd when you think about how popular soap operas are on the TV because all of them depict close communities where people still chat and everybody knows one another.

It seems that we are now living out pretend lives online and by watching TV, while neglecting the real ones on our doorsteps.


Anyone out there managed to sleep through the heat?

During the summer months one can appreciate why people who live in areas such as Florida have air-conditioning in their homes. 

You cannot sleep with the window shut when it is muggy and humid, and you cannot sleep when it is open if you live in the city; a city that sleeps as much as a middle-aged, sweltering woman in August. In other words, not much.

Sirens throughout the night, people returning from the pub with voices the pitch of fog-horns, and the city foxes screaming like banshees in the dark of night. Then, once sleep finally blissfully arrives, it promptly disappears again at dawn when the birds emerge twittering loudly.