In a recent interview featuring inspirational speaker, writer and filmmaker Philip McKernan talks about spending quality time connecting with yourself. As in unplugging from your phone and all-things tech to “just be” with yourself. Whether you’re travelling solo, with your romantic partner or your family and friends, can you think of a better place to unplug and “just be” than Tofino?
Actually, in that London Real video interview called Why We All Crave Connection, McKernan describes a client that came to Tofino and how his unplugged time here ended up “improving every relationship in his life, allowing him to connect with other people in ways he never imagined.”
After watching the video, we were compelled to dig deeper, discovering plenty of supporting medical evidence—including this TED talk by psychologist Adam Alter—that “screens make us less happy.” In fact, Dr. Alter shares how the hours we now spend staring at a smartphone, tablet or computer might be making us miserable. (His word.)
Why? Because screen-time is stealing time. Precious moments, hobbies and other things that give us joy like relationships and time with our family. Irreplaceable time that’s being stolen by endless scrolling of often meaningless content. (Yikes!)
But this is not new thinking.
Even Steve Jobs—CEO of Apple until his death in 2012—revealed in a 2010 New York Times interview that he prohibited his kids from using the newly-released iPad. “We limit how much technology our kids use at home,” he explained.
Yes, Steve said that. And Bill Gates of Microsoft felt the same way when he put a cap on screen time after his daughter started developing an unhealthy attachment to a video game. He also didn’t let his kids get cell phones until they turned 14.
Today, the average age for a child getting their first phone is 10. And it’s not just the kids that are mesmerized, right?
Think of the last time you were out as a couple or with friends. Were you looking into each other’s eyes and having a great conversation? Or were you basking in the glow of your cell phones as you looked down?
Back to Tofino and fun, we would like to boldly suggest a digital detox.
Pacific Sands provides complimentary Internet so you can stream movies and check-in with the office if needed, but when you are perched on the wild west coast of Vancouver Island like we are, it’s likely not going to be the predictable, consistent signal you enjoy back home. And is that such a bad thing?
You could consider it a personal challenge, or better yet, a beautiful opportunity to:
- Go outside and look for eagles instead of Tweeting.
- Choose meaningful face-time with your family and friends instead of Facebook.
- Put your phone in airplane mode, so it’s only a camera, and take shots of Tofino’s picture-postcard views instead of scrolling through everyone else’s so-so shots on Instagram.
- Pull up a log on the beach and read a book where you’re actually turning pages instead of swiping and squinting through your e-book.
- Vacation like you did before all of the above was even “a thing.”
In short, come to Tofino and disconnect to connect.
Give yourself and the ones you love the gift of your presence. Feel the sand under your feet, listen to the melodic sound of the surf, and breathe in the intoxicating air. Look down at a sand dollar on the beach in Cox Bay, not a screen in your hand. And most of all, look up at the spectacular scene unfolding all around you. Chances are, it will be epic.
Try it? You have nothing to lose, only time well spent.