Word of the day: off grid

Like many people, I find it difficult to turn off and may even suffer from a mild version of what has been called nomophobia – the fear of being without a mobile device or out of mobile contact. What with smartphones and 24/7 Internet connectivity, I’ve got so used to being connected all the time that it can be really hard to switch off and focus on the here and now. That’s why I increasingly try to take holidays in relatively remote places where there’s no signal, no wi-fi . . . and no danger of spending half my time away sending emails or updating my social media status! In other words, I like to go off grid.

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Just as people have recognised that detox diets, where you cut down on processed foods, caffeine and alcohol, can give the body a bit of a break and give you time to think about when and what you eat, so too are we starting to realise that we need digitial detoxes from time to time.

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Time spent off grid means no Internet, no Facebook, no Instagram, no Skype, no emails, no nothing digitial at all. Instead, it means making time for the people closest to you, relaxed conversations in quiet surroundings, reading books as opposed to websites, being out in the natural world more, and just generally taking it easy!

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Being away from our screens can not only help us recharge our batteries; it may also help us reset our sleep patterns – or just sleep better; and studies have shown it can also reduce stress, boost creativity and increase your attention span.

Of course, the desire to get off grid and have some down time has already been noticed by enterprising businesspeople and some companies now specialise in offering bespoke off-grid holiday packages – at a price, of course. Such holidays also often seem to involve yoga, vegetarian or vegan food and incredibly early starts to the day!

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Personally, I was lucky enough to manage a few days last week totally off grid – in a little village halfway up a mountain in Bali. It was sheer bliss. You should’ve seen the email backlog I returned to, though! In fact, I’m still trying to catch up and the stress of it all is driving me mad . . .

Want to study in London with Lexical Lab next summer? Click here.

  • How much time do you spend off grid? How? / Where?
  • Would you like to spend more time away from technology? Why? / Why  not?
  • Do you ever experience something similar to nomophobia?
  • Do you ever try to cut down on things (e.g. caffeine, alcolohol, processed foods, how much you use the web, etc)?
  • How’s your email backlog at the moment? How do you usually deal with it?
  • What other ways of recharging your batteries do you sometimes try?
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