Digital Detox, Step 1: Step Away From The Phone : All Tech Considered Summer vacation season has people thinking about how to sign off and escape from the Internet. Is it possible? All Things Considered wants to know about your attempt at a digital detox.
NPR logo

Digital Detox, Step 1: Step Away From The Phone

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/324892657/324906617" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript
Digital Detox, Step 1: Step Away From The Phone

Digital Detox, Step 1: Step Away From The Phone

  • Download
  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/324892657/324906617" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Lastly in All Tech, for the first official week of summer, thoughts about getting away from it all. It's vacation season, a time when some people try to take a break from our online-all-the-time culture.

MELISSA BLOCK, HOST:

Putting down the smartphone, avoiding emails, staying off social media. Some people do that, like tech writer Mat Honan. It's his job to be connected. So when he goes camping...

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

MAT HONAN: I love to go out to the Sierras. And you can be in some really beautiful places, very quickly, that are very far from any cell phone tower.

CORNISH: Honan says with the advent of wearable tech and ever more widely available Internet connections, disconnecting will soon be an important, learned skill.

HONAN: The information is going to be there - like, it's coming. And it's going to be coming at us in ways where we can't avoid it. And so we've got to have the discipline to take those devices off - to turn them off. And it's going to have to be done with intention because otherwise, there's going to be no escaping it.

BLOCK: So a week, a day - Mat Honan of Wired Magazine says, take a break. Just unplug. Then there's Paul Bier, a software company executive.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

PAUL BIER: I have a 15-year-old daughter who is finishing up her sophomore year...

BLOCK: In high school. And Bier says his daughter knew he thought she spent too much time on Facebook.

BIER: So she offered to stop using Facebook for a while if I would pay her.

CORNISH: Two-hundred dollars, six months off social media.

BIER: I thought she was joking. I said, you couldn't live without Facebook.

CORNISH: But she did it with ease. And she was baffled when the Internet and TV went crazy with her story.

BIER: It warmed my heart to hear her talk about how useless 99 percent of the chatter in social media traffic is.

CORNISH: She turned down all interviews, by the way.

BLOCK: There are other stories like this. A teacher who waived an exam for students who would give up their phones. Another writer who stayed off all things Internet for a year. He said he learned it was not the Internet that was causing his problems. It was him.

CORNISH: So we want to hear your story. Tell us about your attempt at digital detox - a week, a day. Tell us what you did, and tell us how it went.

BLOCK: You do have to use the Internet to let us know on Twitter or Facebook. You can find us, @npratc. And our blog is npr.org/alltech.

Copyright © 2014 NPR. All rights reserved. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information.

NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Accuracy and availability may vary. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record.