Try a turn-off: can digi detox switch on Hackney?

Bonfire night in a Dalston, London E8 2EP garden 051114 © davidaltheer@gmail.com
Telephone boxes in Hackney © david.altheer@gmail.com
Public phones in Hackney: anyone know how to use them?

LIKE THE children signalling with fire and sparklers, above, you might have to resort to primitive communication if you find yourself on a digital detox.

Don’t scoff:  Music. Art. No Wifi  is coming to Hackney next weekend and a loved one could pressure you to ditch the smartyphone for a few hours.

“Its London’s first digital detox event,” says an email from organisers Vikki Bates and Lucy Pearson, prompting the question: What’s taken Hackney so long?

Bates goes on: “Everyone will be ditching their phones at the door.”

“People are getting fed up with going out and seeing everyone on their phones.

“The events we run are device-free and create an environment where people talk to one another more and really enjoy the moment.

“Without everyone constantly looking down, they seem to have a lot more fun.

“It’s a backlash from being always available and staring at a screen for most of your day. The digital detox movement embraces getting the balance back.”

Unplugged: Pearson, left, and Bates
Pearson, left, and Bates (supplied pic)

They have a point. The Times claims that one in five young adults admits to having checked their phones during sex.

Yet not everyone supports the Apple/Samsung/whatever ban. In the Irish Times a writer suggests you “dump the detox. Just learn some social manners and willpower”.

So whatever will the detoxers do? Live music, cocktails and an interactive art exhibition, say the two young East London entrepreneurs.

Hamish Scott 031114 

Music. Art. No Wifi Unplugged Weekend will be held at Brew for Two, 101 Morning Lane, Hackney E9 6ND Sat 8 Nov 2014 at 8. Tickets £10. Wheelchair users will need help within.

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