TV turnoff week's here, but is digital detox even possible?

19th April 2010 by

This week is International TV turn off week, where millions of people around the world switch off their sets and find something else to do for a week. First created by Adbusters way back in 1994, it’s grown massively in the past 15 years – over 20 million people took part in 2008.

Of course, the times they are a’changing, and the week has been renamed Digital Detox Week and the new challenge is to go without all sorts of screens. Of course turning off the TV is still on the agenda, but Digital Detox also includes turning off our laptops, x-boxes, iPhones, Blackberries, digital picture frames and everything else we’ve got hanging around the house.

Which got me thinking – going without screens for a week seems like a great idea, but is it realistic? For me, not without going on holiday. To do my job, I need constant access to emails, online calendars, files, contact information, internet research and shared documents. And I’m sure I’m not alone in this – millions of us are tied to a digital lifestyle. But is that a good thing or a bad thing? How long could I go without a computer? A day? A whole week? My head hurts from thinking about it, but I can definitely say that TV turnoff week has gotten infinitely more complicated than back in 1994 …

For more info, read the Guardian debate or check out Adbusters or White Dot, a UK-based anti-TV campaigning organisation.

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