The Digital Detox Challenge – I Dare YOU!

I broke my ‘digital fast’ this morning, and was rather amused to find an article in The Straits Times regarding “smartphone zombies“. Most people would feel really lost if their handphone ran out of battery juice or if the connection went dead (as with StarHub recently). Not for me, I hope. I’ve been putting myself into ‘cellphone and computer rehab’ lately.


I’ve noticed that things are getting pretty bad.

Health: I’m getting really stiff shoulders and tired-looking eyes, no thanks to long hours on the computer and scrolling through newsfeeds on my phone.

Relationship: While he’s talking to me, I’m checking my Facebook feed or replying to a non-urgent email. I didn’t think it was offensive, till the day we were having a (romantic) chili crab dinner and he set up his iPad right in front of him. I would be dining with the crab, and him the iPad. (@_@)


Over the weekend (Fri – Sun), I did a 3-day digital detox again. The first time I did a digital detox was in September, and a grand total of 2 friends discovered my (quiet) disappearance. LOL. Apparently, it is highly unusual if I’m not seen on Whatsapp or posting stuff online. I’m thankful they did not phone the police.

And that first attempt was definitely tougher than pouring a bucket of ice water over my head. I constantly wanted to pick up my phone (even if it was just for telling the time) and struggled with ‘separation anxiety’ when I had to leave my home without it. Strange, but true.

This time, I was quite content to leave it aside.

In fact, it felt like I was on HOLIDAY, right here in Singapore!

I woke up when I wanted to. I slept at 10pm. I didn’t care about what’s trending on facebook or in the blogosphere. I had no urge to update facebook or instagram.

When I sat down with a huge, fluffy waffle and two ginormous scoops of ice cream at Punggol End, I just went ahead and ate it, instead of thinking about how best to photograph my rapidly-melting dessert. Simply because I didn’t have a phone on me!😀

I read all the books I wanted to read. I felt alive.

In fact, I read 4 books in 3 days! That’s probably more than what some people read in a year!

digital detox

‘Woman On Top’ was a really good read – funny, enlightening, relatable. The author, Dr Loretta Chen, is the baby sister of Channel 8 heartthrob, Edmund Chen. Here are 2 of my favorite quotes from this book:

“Be an independent woman, make your own money, have your own career and stand on your own two feet. Don’t rely on anybody, especially a man. In fact, don’t get married if you don’t want to. Don’t have children if you don’t want to. It’s a lot of work. Just have your own life. And if you meet somebody, guy or girl, just be happy.” – advice from Loretta’s mom (pg 51)

“Razors pain you;
Rivers are damp;
Acids stain you;
And drugs cause cramp.
Guns aren’t lawful;
Nooses give;
Gas smells awful;
You might as well live.”
– Poem by Dorothy Parker (pg 75)

The illustrated book about Warren Buffett was interesting too – an easy-to-read biography of everything you need to know about Warren.As for the detective novels, I liked ‘Dead Tomorrow’ more than ‘The Complaints’ though the latter was almost half the length.

Are you up for the challenge?😉
If you’d like to wean yourself off this over-reliance on technology, or take the first step to combating your addiction to your phone (and computer), do this digital detox. If you’d like to be able to go to bed early on consecutive nights, and wake up with glowing skin (as if you’d gone for a facial), do this digital detox. If you’d like to have more time for the things that matter (such as a long-neglected hobby) or experience a holiday without having to pay for one, do this digital detox.
All you need: 3 consecutive days without your phone, computer / laptop / iPad, and TV
How will you spend your time: You could read the papers, go for a swim, take a long stroll with your pet or spouse (or both), read a book (or four), cook yourself three meals a day, tidy up your room, journal, take a nap, etc. Just stay away from all handphones, computers and television sets.😉
I’m going to challenge three of my pals to do this digital detox – 2 of them discovered my disappearance during the first one, and 1 of them is constantly glued to his cellphone. Whoever does the 3-day digital detox in Singapore by the end of November 2014, and survives to tell the tale, will get a treat sponsored by me – either a facial treatment or massage worth at least S$149.😀
~ Good Luck ~
1) Andrew Chow
2) Steven Lek
3) Terence Chiew

3 thoughts on “The Digital Detox Challenge – I Dare YOU!

  1. You got me at Dorothy Parker. This looks like a really good idea, but the thing is, I work as a writer — which means that I’m always using the computer. Still, I’m going to give this a shot. I’ll do it on Friday night and the weekend!😀

    • Yup Fri / Sat / Sun is usually the best for a digital detox as you are less likely to get the same volume of emails and can sleep in on a weekend (no need for handphone alarm apps).😉

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