Digital Detox | © Charlie Black
  • Backstage

Story streaming vs digital detox

If you don’t post it, it didn’t happen…or did it?

Suddenly, the clouds move away and the sun is back. Grey turns into blue — BLUEBIRD! The first beautiful day following several days of snow. Together with my friends, I’m at the Skicircus Saalbach Hinterglemm Leogang Fieberbrunn. After a couple of spectacular descents down the fresh powder snow, we’re sitting together in a hut with a few other travellers and enjoy the positive atmosphere here. We chat, eat, have beers and capture the moments in pictures. An all-round perfect day. But suddenly, the person next to me pulls me back into reality: “Guys, I don’t have internet. How am I going to upload the picture?”

Mentally, I’m already back on the slopes and so ask myself “Really? Is this really so important right now?” But I’m not much better, to be honest. Not being online isn’t really an option for me. If you’re having fun and can’t share it with your friends and followers, was it even worth it? “If you don’t post it, it never happened.” Or did it? 

Missing out on the best moments trying to capture them

I’ve got a fixed ritual with my friends whenever we’re on our skiing holidays. Making our way up to the summit before sunrise at least once or twice in order to be able to enjoy that spectacular event and then cruising down the empty slopes. It’s just an amazing experience! But thinking of past experiences again, it could be rather stressful too: especially having to take a quick picture before the descent to send it to my friends to let them know that I’m the first on the slopes today. Trying to capture each and every moment with my phone or my digital cameras, many of my favourite moments just went right past me. Had I really taken in the sunrise? Only through the lens of my camera, really. 

Digital detox — offline at its best

“Enough with the need to constantly share everything with everyone! Let’s be frank for a moment: Does it really bother our followers that much if we don’t post every single day? I don’t think so,” I say to myself. To consciously avoid the online stress for a while, I prescribe myself a “digital detox”. For our next early bird ride in the Skicircus, we are all going to turn off our smartphones. Feels weird! As soon as we free ourselves from the need to constantly be online, however, we’re suddenly able to truly enjoy our offline time. Having arrived on top, I breathe in the fresh mountain air. All that’s missing now is one important detail: the sunrise. Filled with excitement, we look eastward. Not needing to tinker with my smartphone, I suddenly begin to notice so many little details. The shadows on the horizon slowly change. The first birdsongs resound. Down in the valley, the first lights are being switched on in the little houses. Just before the sun shines across the horizon, the temperature seems to drop one more time. All my senses are sharp, and I’m fully focused on the here and now. And then it finally begins. The sun leaves its red surroundings and the first rays of the new day shine on the surrounding summits. We’re rendered speechless and enjoy the incredible atmosphere. I can feel the sun warm my face and my body recharges with new energy. Enriched with so many (mental) images, we take our first cruises down the unspoiled slopes.

When we visit one of the rustic ski huts for a big breakfast and have a lively discussion about our offline sunrise experience, our gazes land on the neighbouring tables. Couples and groups sitting together in silence, everyone staring down at their phones. In the meantime, we’ve totally forgotten to turn our phones back on and laugh. “Posting comes later, for now, let’s enjoy!” We all agree and continue to chat about our morning adventure.

 

Conclusion

In the end, we all love posting and writing, and personally, I love to share my experiences with others. Nevertheless, it is sometimes quite important to just enjoy certain moments and to put the constant snapping and posting aside. It’s completely fine if I don’t post anything on my Instagram feed for a day or two and simply enjoy my early ride sunrise all by myself. Perhaps my friends and followers will one day experience a sunrise of their own, with their own eyes. But a complete digital detox? No more phone at all? No, I enjoy reporting back about my experiences way too much. I still enjoy my time online but like to take a break every once in a while. Because whatever I don’t post online remains my very own, private memory. So, my rule is this: “Don’t stress — keep calm and post for fun!”

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