Do we need to Digitox?

Our Leading Edge Point of View on Change has a number of components, which came to mind as I read the book ‘Digitox: How to Find a Healthy Balance for Your Family’s Digital Diet’ (Proud to say it’s written by one of our own ‘Team Green’ colleagues, Mark Ellis!).

As Eddie Obeng’s New World Management concept proposes, we have moved to an age where the pace of change has exceeded our ability to learn.  The volume of different technologies touched on in Digitox is a prime example.  I confess that whilst I’m aware of Snapchat and Instagram, I’ve not yet learnt how to use them, even though I do have a belief centred around ‘progress is good’.  Generally, I like change; I like the opportunity to do new things and if I’m honest, I can get a bit bored if things stay the same for too long.  An underpinning aspect of the Leading Edge Point of View on Change is that change is a constant and those who don’t embrace it risk being left behind.

However, Digitox has got me thinking about whether it’s possible to over-embrace technology at the expense of other things (our creativity, relationships etc).  In the book, Mark uses food as analogy for our technology consumption.  We all know that too much food isn’t good for us (yet food is also a vital fuel), that if you’re trying to manage your food intake it can be helpful to think about whether you need that extra slice of toast, or just want it.  Similarly, whilst I love Facebook for giving me a simple way of connecting with overseas friends, actually, do I really need to check it Facebook several times a day, or is it just a want?  What else could I be doing with that time?  You get my drift…

So how do I go about making some changes to my digital consumption?  I reckon the answer lies in Dannemiller’s Change Equation – again part of our approach to change.


For me to sustainably make a change, I need to sit down and:

  • establish mine and others levels of Dissatisfaction with the current status quo (e.g. not sleeping well after late nights on my smartphone, the children disappearing to 4 corners of the house with iPads) – and the weird thing about the Dissatisfaction aspect is for change to be sustainable we need to encourage MORE of it, rather than dampen it down!
  • create a Vision for a positive future state (e.g. better sleep quality; more quality family time) that is compelling not only for me but for the other members of my family fundamental to this change
  • identify my First steps in the direction of the vision (e.g. not charging my phone by my bed; setting – and sticking to – household digital switch off times)

If I make my D, V and F strong and simple enough, then it’s collective value will be enough to overcome the undoubted resistance I’m going to face (potentially mithering from the children; a niggling FOMO* and being disconnected) and the sustainable change will be enabled to happen.

So watch this digital space (but not for late night updates!)…

Sam Eddleston
Learning Curator and Team Coach

*Fear of Missing Out