After the most news-rich start to the summer in living memory, with its wealth of shock political announcements, football and tennis nail-biters as well as economic turbulence, many within the industry have commenced August with a much-needed summer holiday. But who will be lying on their sun-lounger or dining out with smart phone in hand?
One of the more customary “silly season” news stories this week centred around just that debate. Are some of us feeling the need to take a holiday from the internet as well as catch some rays?
On Thursday’s BBC Radio 4 Today programme, a discussion of new data out from Ofcom’s annual communication report suggested that 34 per cent of UK internet users have sought a digital detox, with up to a month away from the web. With statistics referencing average adults spending 25 hours a week online (and arguably many of us in office-based jobs would consider that figure quite low), it seems more people are consciously taking time out from the web, which has developed such a huge role in our daily working lives.
It’s an interesting phenomenon, and one that we wouldn’t have dreamed would be popular a few years back, that many people are seeking out holiday destinations promising no wifi and poor phone signal. “Checking out” instead of “checking in” might just be the next option on Facebook. It’s perhaps no bad thing – and might lead to more real-life interaction. This could be the inevitable “full circle” moment we’re nearing in our increasingly technologically advanced world.
If we’re to retain an edge over robots and digital advancement, it’s the people skills that will set us apart for longest surely…!