My name’s Emily and I’m an Instagram addict.
I can’t pass a peony, ice cream cone or a neon sign without whipping out my phone to capture it for the ‘gram. I’ve tried to stop – but the fear of a missed posting opportunity suckers me back in every time. Call it Instagrammer’s Regret. Don’t even get me started on my Explore feed RSI…
Over the past eight years before I landed at Huckletree, I ran all things social media for various brands. My world revolved around shooting cronut topped freakshakes, velvet sofas and lobster-shaped jewellery – if it brought in the likes, my lens was trained on it.
Times are changing. Fresh from Team Huckletree’s summer trip to the Curious Arts Festival, I’ve been feeling the need to dial down the documenting and live a slightly less digitally-devoted life. Apart from a few Huji snaps of fairy light-bedecked yurts, wild horses and cucumber G&Ts (I’m only human), my phone remained firmly in my bag for the entire festival weekend… and I loved it.
To kick things off, I hit up my the Huckletree crew in London and Dublin for their top tips on nailing a digital detox. Consider it an apology for all the times I’ve dragged them into Boomerangs, held them back from devouring aesthetically pleasing donuts and generally documented their every move…
Ready to embark on a less digitally dependent existence? Let’s begin.
GO SWEAT IT
Snapchatting and swimming lengths don’t mix. Get up and get moving.
When he’s not masterminding expansion plans, our Co-Founder Andrew can be found on a rugby pitch: “There’s a big emphasis on teamwork and group efforts. It totally takes your mind from everything when you have a 20 stone man-mountain running at you full tilt, and you’ll be letting yourself and your teammates down if you don’t put him flat on his back.”
If wrestling man mountains doesn’t quite sound your thing, how about getting the lycra out? Swimming ranks highly in our crew’s no-tech escapades and our Dublin team are born water babies. You’ll find them wild swimming and surfing on any given evening or weekend (join them at their next Startup Sea Swim!).
It’s not all about aquatic pursuits, though. When Dublin Ops Manager Ciara heads out the door, she’s got her sights set on reaching the top: “I love how you can’t think about anything else but climbing when you do it. If your mind wanders you are at risk of falling. Awesome Walls in Dublin is great. They have both lead and top rope climbs as well as a two-level bouldering section. Bouldering is great if you don’t have someone to come and belay for you but Awesome Walls does have some automatic belays.”
As for something a little more centred, yoga is a big winner across all our communities. Whilst GM Aislinn hosts weekly yoga sessions in our very own studio at Huckletree D2, our London crew all head out to get practice on, whether that’s morning sessions in Clerkenwell or erm, Doom in Hackney.
My personal favourite, Doom Yoga is a Vinyasa practice with a heavy, psychedelic drone soundtrack. The atmospherically candlelit room tests my anti-gram policy, but for a burst of mood-boosting activity, nothing beats it.
COOK IT UP
We’re all big foodies. Rubbernecking at each others’ lunches, planning trips to local restaurants and recommending our favourite spots, getting our snack on is a top pastime.
When she’s not salsa-ing her way around East London, Financial Controller Urszula is a one-woman healthy eating revolution. “I love getting creative in the kitchen preparing delicious meals and combining new flavours (lemon pepper is my spice of the month!)”.
Tech Lead Alex swaps coding for cooking at the weekend: “I love switching off and not being on my computer and I love entertaining guests. My chicken soup takes 24 hours in total. Everybody’s chicken soup recipe is passed down but we all have our own little tricks! If I told you mine, it wouldn’t be a secret… Okay, then, here’s one: I add 1-2 tomatoes. It doesn’t add flavour but it adds to the colour.”
Aside from having a fair few vinyl lovers in the house, our love for books remains strong. Shoreditch Events Manager Enrica is a fully fledged member of Rebel Book Club, which pairs non-fiction literature with cocktails and monthly discussions with fellow rebel readers.
Shoreditch GM Jax buddied up with mates to create their very own meetup: “My bookclub has been going for 10 years. We meet every last Thursday of the month, all read the same book which we take turns to pick and talk about book on the night.”
If the temptation to reach for The Hard Thing About Hard Things or Shoe Dog again is overwhelming, try Andrew’s 50/50 strategy: “Reading books NOT about work. This often is difficult but I operate a one work, one pleasure strategy. Throw in some fiction too, which I’m very bad at.”
PUPPIES & PEOPLE-WATCHING
Ciara’s sure-fire antidote to aimless scrolling? Dogs. Lots of dogs.
“If I really need some headspace I like to volunteer at a local animal sanctuary – being surrounded by loads of cute animals completely distracts me from my phone. In Dublin we have Dogsaid, Dogstrust and the DSPCA to name a few that are always looking for volunteers.”
The best thing about going analog for a spell is that you don’t have to actively do anything. Team Tech’s Alex Hughes makes the case for full stopping.
“Grabbing a cuppa at a train station for a spot of people watching is my all time favourite detox. Seeing completely different people, from completely different cultures, going about their random lives, really brings home the idea of sonder and our place in the world.”
There you have it. Cuddling puppies, cooking chicken soup, reaching for a novel – give Team Huckletree’s digital detox tips a try and see what works for you. Just maybe leave the man mountains to Andrew…
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