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The Seven-Day, Seven-Step Tech-Free Program

Here’s what happens when our social media manager tried to go off the grid for a week. Could you ditch all your technology?

| September 24th, 2012
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giving up technology

Think you can't go email-free for 48 hours? If this obsessed techie can curtail her e-life—then so can you.

Hi, My name is Anne, and I’m a Nomophobiac. Or at least that’s my self-diagnosis. According to a recent study from the Indian Journal of Community Medicine, Nomophobia is the fear of being without a mobile phone.

Just to be clear, there are two things that I must have with me at all times: my lipstick and cellphone. (I can thank my mother for the former habit.) My right hand feels paralyzed (figuratively) without the sweet embrace of my iPhone. It’s my alarm clock and the first thing I reach for each morning; to check my email, natch.

A water-proof cover that would allow me to shower with the darn thing would be great; tell me if you know of one. But it’s never far from my hand. I check Facebook while curling one eyelash; Instagram during the other. Sad, but true.

Are my priorities skewed? Yes. Is my addiction embarrassing? Absolutely. So to go cold turkey on my iAddiction, I decided to give up a little each day, with the intention of making a clean break by week’s end. Here are the gory details.

MORE: Envy Me: How the Internet Makes You Jealous

Day 1 Today I’m giving up blogs.

As someone who’s occupation relies on keeping current on news and gossip—which I get from the blog apps on my iPhone—this was a major first step. To those ends, I pull up my big girl panties and breeze by the public library to pick up a few books that have been on my must-read list for oh, an entire year or so.

Day 2. Today I’m ignoring Instagram.

This is my newest addiction so I’ve got it bad. This app for photos indulges my inner voyeur and lets me shoot images and see other’s snaps. I took it back to the old school and dug out my real camera that I received for a birthday present. Maybe I’ll even swing by a one-hour photo! Do they still exist?

Day 3. Today I’m saying toodles to Twitter.

Ouch! This one is rough. It’s the inaugural week of the Olympics and normally I’d be following every #hashtag and Speedo-clad tweet with fervor. At first, I feel a bit left out of this digital 140-character society (especially when news broke), but after the first few hours of my self-imposed ban, it was strangely gratifying.  

Day 4. Today I’m saying ta-ta to texting.

This one has me hot and bothered. How did people communicate before text? Do I actually have to talk on the phone to someone other than my mother? Surprisingly this lead to a few heartfelt conversations with colleagues. On another note: People don’t seem to pick up the phone anymore. I’m now a professional voicemail-leaver.

QUIZ: How Close is Too Close?

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