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  • Writer's pictureSona Parmar

Ahoy The Digital Detox

Day 1/7

I tell myself this is a good thing. Somewhere, somehow, I’ve become one of those people who check their phone every 12 seconds. You’d think I was waiting for the nuclear launch codes.

You become what you practice and, despite my yoga/zen/self-reflection routine, I’ve been becoming increasingly distracted – and still I can’t put my phone down. I don’t like me like that. I like me even less without it. The words “dry drunk” come to mind. My phone is my security blanket and I don’t like to be without it.

And yet, for the last few hours, the phone is nowhere near me and The Pentagon still hasn’t sent a chopper. I have a feeling the next week could be interesting.

Day 1/7 – part deux

I remember some videos I’d wanted to watch on YouTube. I should have got the premium service and downloaded them before this trip. Then I’d be doing something productive. It’s hard to just hang out with my kids with eons of time ahead of me, nothing to do, nowhere to be.

Note to self: I’m meant to be a human being, not a human doing. Oh, and must take grimace off face.

Day 2/7

Desperately missing the internet. I arrive in Amsterdam tomorrow, without so much as an inkling of what to do there. I’m totally a planner without a plan. Then my aunt tells me that Amsterdam hosts the Anne Frank museum. I know I don’t want to go there. I know I don’t want to shop either. I think about getting high, but then I did make that commitment to myself to stay in my senses. Hmmmm.

Then I happen to reread the last line of what I wrote yesterday, to just be. I guess I could do that. Just mill around and see what happens.

Watch this space.


I lasted three days. Just three days. Somewhere in Amsterdam, I connected to wi-fi and exhaled an enormous sigh of relief. Clearly, this wasn’t a good sign, but by getting what I thought I wanted, I realised that I didn’t want it at all.

The next few days continued much the same. Staying in touch, but not being beholden.

And the other thing that happened is that I started being present. Rather than plugging into Google maps and letting it guide me around the various cities I visited, I started to use visual cues (who knew that could work?!). I started looking around and taking it all in, rather than having on eye/ear/hand on my phone. It’s scary to think how much I’ve been missing by doing that.

I heard something last week about when you’re on a journey, you think you should have one eye on the destination and one on the journey. How else will you know where you’re headed? Turns out, once the destination is set, you need two eyes on the journey. It’s something I had just experienced.

And the fact that I was no longer connected to the World Wide Web, didn’t make a blind bit of difference.

The first two parts of my cruise adventure:

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