I have been pondering this question of late, as I have been penning my next book about living a clutter free life.
I began on a chapter about the digital world and how to clear the clutter in this area of my life.
It then dawned on me that this is not just a simple chapter, it is our life.
The world afterall has gone digitally crazy.
We are on our phones from the time we wake till the time we go to bed.
It’s even lying beside us ready to be grabbed first thing in the morning.
It seems that the digital world that had made our lives so much easier has also turned us into digital freaks consuming information, never switching off and always ready to twitter at anytime time in our lives.
We are so wired up all the time – and I realised that the chapter on de-cluttering our digital lives could be a book in itself.
Digital Messages Are All Around Us
I went to the cinema, when the usual message came on about phones and distracting others during the show.
It seems this message never got through to some as several people still pulled out their phones to check messages during the film with their screens lighting up at points in the show.
Another lady answered her phone, to tell someone she was in the cinema and could not talk.
I really did not understand why we feel we need to answer every call and why she did not let it go to voicemail.
Surely if she did not answer, the person on the other end would figure out that she is not available.
Why do we feel the need to be wired up 24 hours a day?
Always ready to answer every call?
Available to speak to each person that calls us?
I remember going abroad when I was a young slip of a girl – I won’t go into numbers but lets just say it was some time ago.
Communication was rather different back then.
My parents had no idea when I had arrived at my destination.
This as you can tell was before the advent of mobile phones, texting, Whatsapp, skype, email.
It is funny that it does not seem so long ago but it just highlights how many changes have been made in the way we live a digital life.
My parents had to trust that no news was good news.
How different the digital world makes our lives today.
My daughter recently went away on a short trip abroad.
She let me know how full the check in was, how long it took to get to the waiting lounge and said a final good bye before she boarded the plane.
I had a blow by blow account as she arrived at her hotel and pictures posted daily on Facebook of the things she had been doing.
It was as if she had never left.
So, I am left wondering can you live simply in a digital world?
I was travelling on an underground train and observed a plethora of used Metro papers strewn across the carriage.
It struck me this was a different picture to years by gone.
I recall then how I would be desperate to get hold of my Metro newspaper.
I would be disappointed if they had all gone by the time I had boarded a train.
I would wait eagerly for the first discarded paper which I would read eagerly.
There were hardly any left behind on the trains most people recycled them in this same way, reading the ones left behind meant that there often never many left lying around.
It was a scramble to get one.
But the digital life has changed all of this.
Heck, they can’t even give the Evening Standard and Metro away for free.
Now people are not bothered with a newspaper, they have their hand held device and never switch off.
They are having conversations for the whole carriage to listen to, their escapades of the night before and how drunk Joey had become that he could hardly stand up and what a great night they had and so on, information that doesn’t interest or need to fill my day.
How can we switch off from the digital world?
And should we take time to switch off from the digital world?
I’m a Digital Mum but I believe we can live simply in this digital world.
We don’t have to be involved in every tweet, facebook poke updating post or be available 24/7.
We need to switch off and remember we are not an extension of our phone ( though you wouldn’t believe it – read what happened to me when I lost my phone).
I do believe we need to take time out to reflect, to walk and listen to the birds singing and be constantly turned on to our digital technology.
We need time to be who we are and how can we do this when we never turn off?
Turn off your phone, I leave you with this video which asks us to do that very thing.
Look up from your phone, live Life the Real Way
It may seem a strange message to come from The Digital Mum where I am helping you to build a life in the digital world, but do you go to work 24/7 then why would you do so in the digital world?
The Digital Mum spreading the word about the Digital Lifestyle
Whilst helping you find your calm in the digital noise
So you can simply live your digital life
Because there is another way!