Hi. Vashtie here. Yes, the Vashtie of Vashtie.Com. Some of you may remember when it was only me contributing to this internet experiment since 2007 and I’m sure you may have noticed that my site has expanded to include a super talented staff! I’ve been busy here and there, so my posting has been a bit of a rarity…but, I will be up and through here more often! Especially since I just took a 2 week “out of the Matrix”, digital detox break.
WHAT IS A DIGITAL DETOX?
Well, according to Wikipedia it is…
“Digital detox refers to a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic connecting devices such as smartphones and computers. It is regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress, focus more on true social interaction and connection with nature in the physical world.”
WHY DID I DECIDE TO DIGITAL DETOX?
In 2014, I had a bit of a breakdown and took my first ever vacation. I went to Miami, dolo, and was urged by my management to turn my phone off because I was at a breaking point mid-Puma Deal, G-Shock Deal, and tons of other ambassadorships and DJ gigs. At that point I was not meditating or doing my now beloved inner work. After that trip, I realized I needed to always take care of me…I mean, I can’t take care of others if I’m not taken care of. So…when this time frame was planned…some people assumed I was digitally detoxing because I was “exhausted” or “breaking down” due to how much I work and how much I share on social media. On the contrary, I feel more centered than ever – I just yearned for silence and clarity, to focus on my creative projects.
WHAT DID I DO ON MY 2 WEEK DIGITAL DETOX?
People suggest going out in nature, but I just stayed put in my Manhattan Apartment. I travel a lot for work, so getting in a plane or a car wasn’t appetizing to me. Instead, I had my own ideas…and here is what I did and what happened in my 2.5 week break…
1.Unplugged From Social Media.
I signed out of all my social media; yes, all of it…Twitter and even my beloved Instagram.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Much easier than you think…seriously. There’s a whole world out there. Actually, the actual world is out there.
REWARD: Not being on my phone granted me more connection to those around me. Whether it was small talk with strangers or witnessing simple sweet moments, having my eyes and ears open ultimately had my heart open for lovely, unexpected experiences. I was able to take things in and appreciate every moment. I also took in that everyone is basically staring at their phones almost always, but it was nice to observe that as well.
2. Turned My Phone on Airplane Mode.
This was easier said than done, only because I’m a workaholic and like to be on top of projects…but, I did it.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: What made this easier was my second phone line/trap phone for my small, close circle. I informed them I was going off the grid and to only contact me for real emergencies. I kept the phone in hidden places in my apartment, so it wasn’t glued to me.
3. Unplugged From Social Life.
I declined ALL social invites, even from friends and colleagues.
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: I’m naturally an introvert, so this was fantastically easy for me and easier with a real excuse – and super annoying for my friends who can’t get me to go out ever.
REWARD: Spending so much alone time, barely speaking to people gave me major clarity in my life and work. I was also able to be profoundly more creative. That breathing room did me wonders.
4. Planned To Read 50 Influential Books.
Keyword here is “Planned”. I am truly not much of a reader, I just find it challenging to stay interested on written word for very long and prefer the company of moving visuals for my creative brain…or is that how a moron would explain it?
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Well, I didn’t read a single book so I guess it was easy.
REWARD: At first I felt defeated, but I did way other important things – so it’s fine.
5. Listened To Rolling Stones Top 100 Albums of All Time.
Okay, I actually committed to this…
LEVEL OF DIFFICULTY: Super easy, in fact I decided to Google all the artists and the albums to gain even more insight on the time and artists.
REWARD: I feel so much more versed in the world of music. It was cool to finally listen to albums that I’ve known were influential for some time now. It was even more mind-blowing to hear The Beach Boys, The Rolling Stones and The Beatles most compelling works but then to listen to Chuck Berry and realize they sampled him endlessly. Also, I found out that I love Elvis…his album “Sun Sessions” is magical.
6. I Rested & Worked on Creative Projects.
Just like everyone else, I do not get enough rest, so this was perfect time to just relax and chill. While I am friendly and generally love people, as a true introvert – I get drained by people (whereas extroverts get energized by people). This period, I was able to decompress and since I didn’t have to be so “business-y” – I got to be back in my roots of being a dirtbag artist, just day-dreaming, being an idiot and researching bizarre things.
7. Some Thought I Had A Breakdown.
I gave a few of my closest peeps a heads up and then forgot about a few others. I opened my phone post break and was met with a slew of texts and DM’s asking if I was okay…and a lot of my supporters were generally concerned for my well being. It was slightly enjoyable that some people thought I had lost my mind or died…but, your girl is still here.
Post Digital Detox?
I cannot big up doing a digital detox enough. I was so relaxed, focused, open and receptive. Taking in the moment and not entertaining myself in quiet moments truly led to inspiration and soothing calm. If you can do it, if even just for one day…I highly suggest it. It’s quality time for you and your inner self. While I miss my silent time, I am very happy to be back on the grid – sharing my experiences with my supporters, spending time with friends and work-work-work-work-work’ing.