After a week of reality, it's back to reality
Finally, my wife looks up from her laptop, acknowledges my existence and says “I'm booking a holiday - what would you like to do?”
“Just book a week's break from the Web” I replied.
And so my wish was granted – a blissful week in sunny Spain...offline.
We didn't follow any Trip Advisor suggestions, check the weather online, e-mail or social network. We just discovered by exploring, looked at the sky and talked to each other. And after a few days of online withdrawal symptoms, we were able to walk straight past tempting internet cafes and pretend we lived in the unimaginable pre-Web world.
The Gray household-at-home seems very typical when you look at UK statistics.
Home internet penetration continues to climb and now stands at 79%. This is forecast to increase to 86% by 2014.
This increase is mirrored in every demographic group. For example, home internet penetration among the over-65s is now 43%.
72% of internet users go online every day or nearly every day.
The proportion who has used a social networking site in the past 6 months is 29%; those who've watched TV or films: 24%; downloaded music: 42%.
This constitutes a serious addiction to online activity – a habit that is evermore pervasive. As our lives move closer to perpetual online connection there may come a time when others also realise that they have to take an offline holiday, if only to reconnect with reality for a week.
Meanwhile, I'm back at the agency with hundreds of unanswered emails and trying to think of even more creative ways to get – and keep – people online!