Switch off from digital… at least for a while

Posted by Carol Strachan on 02 March 2017

The following blog is probably not one I should be writing given that I’m the Marketing Manager of a successful Website design & development agency. Digital technology is very important to us, but equally important is the realisation that life does exist beyond posting a social media update, watching TV while looking at your What’s App messages or trawling through a plethora of websites to find the cheapest holiday deal.

Sometimes it’s equally important to switch off from digital…at least for a while.

For my son’s 10th birthday we decided to do something slightly different, something that would force us all off our smart phones, X-Box, iPods, iPads and all the other devices you can think of and get us together as a family.  After scouring the internet - yes ok digital is important - looking for ‘fun things to do’ I stumbled upon a website called ExClusive Games based not too far away in Newbury.

ExClusive Games is a new concept to me, perhaps you’ve heard of it? Essentially it’s being shut in a room while trying to figure out a number different challenges that really puts your logic to the test and gets the old adrenalin pumping.  We had 60 minutes to find 7 clues that was needed to solve this particular puzzle.

The startling thing was that after 15 minutes of running round like headless chickens I asked my husband what on earth was wrong with us? We're reasonably intelligent human beings and yet we couldn’t even figure out the first clue without going into complete meltdown? And then I realised two things;

  1. We're that used to getting answers to everything immediately these days that any patience we once had has very quickly dissipated and
  2. We don’t exercise our brains half as much as we used to…and ok three things…
  3. Maybe because we’d had a few the night before.

And the look on the children's faces when they realised they couldn't Google the answer - priceless! Thankfully after about 15 minutes our brains started to kick in and we were off and running solving clues and riddles left, right and centre to huge enjoyment of us all (you should try it and yes I did leave a review on TripAdvisor!

It’s clear, digital has a huge impact on our everyday lives to the point where we now don’t have to think too hard about anything.  Even when we run out of our favourite washing powder at home we can simply press a button and add it to our next shopping list – thank Amazon Dash for that.  We have watches that tell us when we need to get more active, automated lighting and heating and a whole host of other smart devices waiting in the wings to do the ‘thinking’ for us.

Digital has changed our behaviour, our decision making process and the even the way we look to reviews and recommendations before we buy, shifting the buying power firmly in the hand of the consumer – one bad review could make or break a seller. But while we expect immediate answers to problems evidence shows that we are becoming too over reliant on technology to the detriment of our own brain development

So yes, digital technology is important but don’t forget to take time out to exercise your brain in other ways. Having a break will freshen your thinking and perhaps make you more productive when you switch back on.

Carol Strachan

Carol joined the Unified team over a year ago and brought with her a wealth of marketing experience gained over the last 20 years.  During her career, Carol has worked on some really exciting campaigns including the launch of 4G with Three and the Transforming Local Infrastructure project back by the Cabinet and supported by the National Lottery.  With Unified Solutions, Carol's sights are firmly set on helping clients realise their own digital potential.

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