Are you a tech addict?

By: Claudia Bouma

Claudia Bouma asks, do you find it difficult to switch off your digital devices while travelling?

Are you a tech addict?
Is it really that difficult to turn off your phone/device?

Most people today can be characterised by one four-letter-word: B-U-S-Y. Work is busy, school is busy, the weekends are busy. In a nutshell, life is busy.

One reason for this busyness is the fact that work – and even our personal lives − have less distinguished boundaries due to the fact we can be online 24/7. Don’t get me wrong, the advancement of technology has brought many great benefits, such as the ability to connect with family wherever you are. However, it also brings the challenge of your life. 

I’ll be the first to admit I like to have my phone with me all the time so I don’t miss out on any emails and have a quick look at Facebook once a day or so. However, when I hit the road with my husband and four kids I have found it necessary to put firm boundaries in place.

The phone comes along but I don’t carry it with me 24/7. I might check it every hour or so to ensure I haven’t missed any important emails but I turn it off after 6pm. Facebook goes on the backburner − I might scroll through once every couple of days, just for a couple of minutes.

Some people have asked me why I have such ‘strict’ boundaries in place. Well, have you ever tried having a deep and meaningful with someone while they’re doing stuff on their phone? I find it ironic when they tell me they’re connecting with friends on Facebook! It seems personal connections are getting lost and I think it could become a problem.

Is it really that difficult to turn off your phone/device? Apparently it is and the problem is that social media is invading people’s lives. It’s all about balance. I find camping is the perfect way to find that balance, particularly after an extremely busy or stressful time. There’s nothing like recharging your batteries while camping in the bush, away from it all.

Don’t get me wrong, having a phone and wanting to stay in the loop is fine but if it starts to interfere with important relationships, then you might want to ask yourself some hard questions. Going away is the perfect opportunity to evaluate your lifestyle and figure out if you’re happy doing what you’re doing. Maybe it’s time for a change?

The other thing camping does for me is to reinforce the importance of a simple life. Really, when you plunk yourself down and sit in front of a campfire, watching the stars, it has a way of bringing home what really matters. And more often than not, you’ll discover you’re spending most of your energy on things that don’t matter in the long run.

My motto is to keep life simple and I hope you’ll discover the benefits of a simple lifestyle too.

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