Jess holidayed for two weeks without taking a single photo (the above image is from a previous trip!). Here's what she learned.
I just returned home from two weeks at the beach; one week camping at beautiful Whananaki, one week at a holiday home in stunning Whangapoua. It was a quintessential Kiwi summer - books, board games, and way too much Maggi onion dip.
It wasn’t until I arrived home in Auckland that I realised I hadn’t taken a photo in almost three weeks. Not one. I was holidaying at some of New Zealand’s most gorgeous locations, and I left my phone on silent in the car. An unintentional digital detox.
I guess I’m not really surprised. Every now and then, I feel a strong desire to retreat from social media - and this desire was in full force towards the end of last year. I posted this quote on Instagram about five weeks ago:
“The quieter you become, the more you can hear.” - Ram Dass
2016 was a big, disruptive year, and social media more or less exploded following the shocking US election. Some people cope with tumultuous change by jumping straight into action. I often try to do the same - to find answers and certainty in the face of anxiety. To do something, anything other than to do nothing.
But despite good intentions, I found myself wanting to do exactly that over the holiday period: nothing. To get really quiet. To block out the noise. To try to figure out where I was at - without headlines and media commentary and social media posts running through my mind.
When I get quiet, I get really quiet. I took no photos. I wrote nothing in my journal. I barely responded to emails. I avoided phone calls. I tried to be present with those around me, to enjoy the company of close friends and family.
It was a restful, rejuvenating holiday. I returned home feeling as though I had a lot more head space than I had when I left. I might not have a plan of action - or any photos - but I can once more hear myself think.
Author - Jess O'Connor