5 things to help you unplug this weekend
Unplug yourselves this weekend
We've all had that feeling. The early morning groggy regret of staying up far too late playing Hearthstone, Facebooking or checking emails. The wistful sigh as we trawl through Instagram, looking at some beautiful person standing chopping wood against a log cabin backdrop. Watching The Walking Dead thinking, "I could do that, I could survive unplugged when it all goes to hell and back".
Many New Year's resolutions have been made and broken, to swear off technology as we passionately declare ourselves over it. Becoming a neo-Luddite is actually quite appealing these days, but it's much harder to unplug in a wired world in which everyone else is still so connected. So it's left to weekend warriors to find new ways of getting away from it all.
If you hate the idea of unplugging completely or you're simply trying to cut down on screen time, here are a few alternatives to what to try when you're tired of tech:
This weekend, drop Instagram for proper pics
Get a film camera, pop some real film in, wind it up and get outside
You could try a 35mm camera on the cheap - Snappy Snaps still develop film on the high street or if you want something to suit your interior design ethos, plump for something a bit more sleek, like a Lomography camera. With multiple styles to suit, there'll be something to fit your aesthetic.
Digital photographers beware: you'll need to brace yourself for a suddenly limited number of pictures per film with no do-overs and no preview. Find the fun in randomness again.
Wake up! Turn your smartphone off and go retro
How do we eschew technology completely when we have become so reliant on it to do basic things like waking up in the mornings? The morning after the night before will become much harder to bear as, bleary-eyed, we leave behind the normal routine: Wake up, browse emails, listen to music, watch some video... finally get up and join the real world three hours later.
Perhaps the most not-tech-tech to combat being plugged in while bed-ridden is this wooden digital alarm clock. A good-looking mix of real wood and LED lights, it's the alarm clock of choice to feel like you're getting back to basics. It also brings some nature back into your clean white/glass/metal-clad worlds.
Unplug your consoles: Go sit in a park
Console gaming takes up a fair bit of electricity. It's not great to be plugged in and staring at screens for hours on end, this much we already know. Now you can dial it down a little, and although there's nothing wrong with breaking out the old board games, you don't have to ditch digital completely.
In the 90's this gaming revolution happened and we're not talking about the original PlayStation - think smaller and more portable.
Tamagotchi became the playground tech-kit of choice as kids everywhere mourned the loss of their digital pets.
As the 90's have never been more back-in-fashion than they are now, you can still find Tamagotchis on sale. Put away your PS4 and go feed your digital pet in a park in the sunshine this weekend.
Sketch strangers when you're out & about
Every time we think about how lovely it would be to get back to pen and paper, we end up being horrified. We peer at the scrawly, unruly handwriting exhibited, an embarrassing symptom of being so dependent on smartphones and PC to type notes that we've actually forgotten how to write in cursive.
Time to throw your Laptop into the back of a cupboard, tape up your tablet and try a smart notebook while you're sat on the tube.
Courtesy of notebook veteran Moleskine, you can grab a specially-created range of paper notebooks that allow for better digital scanning so when you do finally turn the tablet, phone or PC back on, so you can upload your doodles with perfect clarity.
Unplug your ears... sort of
Hipsters the world over already have this figured out, but you don't have to be permanently connected to your iPod or mp3 player when you're on the go this weekend.
You can bask in the retro-tastic nature of your old Vinyl records and you certainly don't need to be stuck indoors to do it. Replace your laptop or your mp3 player with one of these portable vinyl devices.
Portable Vinyl players are battery powered, and since you use them via headphones or speakers you'll still have the security of being plugged in... in some way.
This is not for the feint of heart though, as lugging around a small suitcase will at least keep you in shape, but hefting a choice of records along with it will be akin to putting rocks in your backpack.
But still, the idea is to unplug a little and be happier. Only, if you do it in public spaces, people will judge you and most likely try and insta-shame you.
But that's ok because you'll have turned your phone off right? Right?!