Blogs

Your disconnected weekend

Take the great 48-hour challenge and give yourself a much needed and probably long overdue e-tox

Travelling on an inner suburban train the other day I happened to notice that I was the only person not hunched over a piece of handheld technology. The nine fellow passengers in my line of vision were all completely mesmerised by their respective devices. Darth Vader could have stepped aboard and no-one would have noticed.

Which made me wonder… in our digitally-dominated modern world, how long could the average person go without access to their mobile technology? (Not very long, I suspect – I know people who break out in a cold sweat just because they can't find their phone charger.)

Well maybe this weekend is an opportunity to find out.

DisCONNECT to reCONNECT is a national fund-raising initiative that challenges participants to turn off all their personal technologies for a full 48 hours.

Yes, that's two whole days without mobile phones, computers, iPads, tablets and all those other modern day essentials that have such a mesmerising hold over us. Brace yourself - the fun starts at 7pm, Friday 10 May.

During this digital vacuum you're encouraged to reconnect with the non-digital world around you. Things like riding a bike, going for a walk, talking with family members or flatmates. Or even just reading a book (a real book that is - no Kindles allowed).

As the d2r website says, "it's about the connection, the offline, face-to-face connection".

Funds are raised for Edmund Rice Camps (ERC) Australia which is a network of not-for-profit organisations dedicated to providing social and recreational opportunities for kids from disadvantaged backgrounds. So your disconnection can also serve a benevolent purpose if you decide to support this enterprise.

There's no doubt that our mobile technologies are wonderful tools for connecting and communicating. The digital world itself is a vast, fascinating universe that's jam-packed with more information we could ever even get our heads around. And all literally at our fingertips.

But these technologies are meant to enhance our lives, not control our lives. To serve us, not hypnotise us.

So this weekend, take the great 48-hour challenge and give yourself a much needed and probably long overdue e-tox. Use that extra offline time to recharge your own batteries instead of your devices.

Or at the very least, just lift your gaze and look out the window.