Sometimes it is just worth switching everything off. The phone, the laptop and the endless digital noise that distracts us from being present.

Before entering tier 4 lockdown I attempted a digital detox and realised how reliant I was on my phone. I ended up having to use it for Sat Nav… and got a bit of a withdrawal from checking the news. I know… It horrified me.

The time I spent without connection was spent in nature and was bliss. Yet, I still used my phone to take pictures. Why did I need to document and record where I was? Where had the need come from to always record my experience?

This then got me thinking about how we all record our experiences. How we all have been conditioned to document our experience and make it available to others.

While I wondered through spectacular scenery, I considered how most of us search for significance and demonstrate it by recording and sharing on social media. It has become our habit and our ‘norm’. It is funny when you think about it… Imagine squirrels taking selfies of every acorn acquiring escapade…

I do find humanity amusing, especially by stepping out and observing. Yet the time of quiet raised numerous questions… Like why do I have to do?

This came from being at a lovely hotel (before the current restrictions) on a rainy day. I felt as though I couldn’t just do nothing. I felt I had to get out there and experience and make the most of it.

Admittedly I had a phenomenal time when I did get out there, yet it disturbed me that I felt I had to.

This time of quiet has provided some real insight. It makes me wonder whether one can break the reliance. Can a person go off-grid anymore?

Are we all so conditioned and reliant on the digital that we can no longer live without it?

The time of quiet gave me the time to process life and consider without the endless distraction and interruption…

Yet something else bothered me… I felt guilt for not be accessible and answering emails and texts… Weird and something I need to look at…

I wonder if anyone else has experienced similar feelings when switching off… or do we just not dare to switch off anymore?

The link toMichelle Dry’s books on Amazon.co.uk:


One response to “SWITCHING OFF”

  1. Hello Michelle, firstly I just have to say how delighted I am to see that you’re still writing. As one of your ex- students I knew that it was very likely you were, it was I who has had years of dabbling in and out. You certainly inspired me and due to these crazy Covid times I’m back into dabbling. Which led me to read all my stories that I wrote during my time in your class, thankfully your name was found there on my very last story. Yay.

    Secondly, all that being said I’d like to respond to your query. It is possible to go completely off grid. I did just that, not intentionally I might add, just as you wrote about that Divine Comedian, well she was with me on my journey, I’m sure of it. I spent two years traveling across Europe in a van completely fitted out with electrics but for one reason or another that DC was intent on me being disconnected from everything that was out of sight. It certainly provides you with opportunity to sit and revel in the beauty of life and your surroundings.
    Although I’ve returned to bricks and mortar I no longer own a TV or radio, I have disengaged from FB and rarely take my phone out on hikes anymore. It takes determination to strike the balance in life between living in the moment and feeling the need to share that moment with everyone out there sitting behind their screens.
    I often ask myself: who really cares?
    On that note, perhaps you’d like to have a gander at my writing 🤣 Perhaps look at a few of my blog entries, they may or may not amuse you. I always loved your sense of the humour.


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