A review of Off.: Your digital detox for a better life, a new book by Tanya Goodin
Despite being not much bigger than a typical smartphone, and at first flick through looking like it could be just another compilation of hyggerish fridge-magnet wisdoms, this colourful tomelet from the founder of Time to Log Off turns out to be a powerful tool for anyone seeking to reclaim their life from digital distraction and automated anxiety. It contains the sprinkling of painful home truths that addicts need to hear, but these are lightly deployed and serve to drive the reader to explore the array of practical steps on offer for anyone seeking to become a moderate user.
The book has lots of pictures: a necessity for anyone whose consciousness has been Instagrammed. But they also function as factual illustrations, reminders of what life is like off-pixel. And the text they support is solid. Lots of do-able suggestions for how one can nudge oneself back into 3D living, rightly based on the fact that displacement habits are an important part of beating an addiction.
Step One is to stop using your computer as an alarm clock: why hasn’t everyone worked this out already? In a world where a broadband connection is defined as an essential utility, not a luxury, and a good night’s sleep has become a luxury, this point needs to be made again and again. Off. then moves through one addiction-beating idea after another, ranging from tips for purging your smartphone’s contents to practical suggestions for living in a less virtual manner. A useful tool for reality-revivalists everywhere.
Off. Your Digital Detox is published by Ilex, £5.99 (getBook.at/OFF)