My Digital Detox

I did my detox, and I feel better. What about you -- Can you let go?

We all do it. Daily. Some of us all day long. We can’t live without it. We wake up to it. Go to bed with it. And if you are like me, you take it into the bathroom with you. (I just got a lot of disgusting looks from you all.) You know you do it. You stare at it when you want to avoid conversations, interact with it in line at the grocery store, and scroll through it during business meetings.

You know what I’m talking about. It’s your mobile phone. Face it. You can’t live without it! It owns you.

Have you ever gone a week without? I have. It's my digital detox.

Every year, a few buddies and I take a backpacking trip into the wilderness. We pack enough food, clothing, and supplies to manage for a few days without any connection to the world we know. Sometimes we don’t even see people. Some might call this crazy and more torture than fun. We call it vacation.

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Drying out the gear in the sun

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Water filtration

I know, vacation is suppose to be at the beach, or Europe, or somewhere like that. Yes, those are vacations too. But this vacation is a vacation from communication -- from all things digital. We are completely disconnected, to the level of ZERO. Wait, what!? No connection to Facebook? Twitter? Text? OMG. Snapchat? URGH!!! How do you live? Well, LOL, very simple actually.

This detox is pretty easy. And it always works.

Where we travel, we almost never have a cellular connection, and we can’t charge our phones. So we it turn off. Granted, some of the guys have to let their families know that they are safe. Me? I let people know before I go that I'll be non-digital and just let go of everything. I focus on the sun on my face, a stream's happy splashing sound, the wind through the trees, my eyes on nature and the animals. I also pay attention to where I place my feet on boulders that are wet from rivers and rain, so I don’t slip to my demise. It's amazing how freeing it is. Plus, when I feel healthy, I'll do work that's healthy.

I spend the week focused on things that were important to people centuries before the word “digital” was ever added to the dictionary. If you don’t know me, this might sound bizarre coming from a guy who makes a career working in everything digital. Trust me when I say, you have let go of everything in order to come back and feel free again. And when I say everything I mean your mobile phone too. And you know what? Unlike the digital world in which I work, the digital detox always works.

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Crossing streams can be difficult and require focus

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Remote campsite with no data connection

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Author

Shaun Culbertson

Shaun is our Digital Design Director. He directs the design and development of all our digital work and positions the creative in all digital channels. Shaun offers our clients more than fifteen years of digital experience. Extremely detail-oriented and design-focused, Shaun always looks to take the design to the next level. Before arriving at dR, Shaun worked as Senior Art Director at Adcom and Art Director at Rosetta. He has worked on several Fortune 500 brands, including Sherwin-Williams, Marriott International, and Rigid Tools. Outside of work, Shaun is an avid hiker with his dog Abbie. His life goal is to section hike the entire Appalachian Trail.

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