Could digital help bring back spontaneity?

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Water cooler chats in the office this week led to the question: what’s your favourite celebrity quote? While some colleagues liked “I’m kind of a big deal” and “If you haven’t got anything nice to say about anybody, come sit next to me”, my favourite quote remains the same as when I first set up my Facebook profile back in 2008 – John Lennon’s “Life’s what happens while you’re busy making plans”. It resonates because it’s true. Days packed with tasks – like researching breaks away – feel wasted, and they fill me with dread.

At the moment, My Lovely Husband (MLH) is poring over our iPad in search of the perfect birthday weekend for me. It’s very sweet. But, as I’ve just told him: “It’s very annoying.” I’m demanding, I know. But if you take heed of my favourite John Lennon quote – why should we be busy making plans? Let’s just bloody do it!

Last year I wrote a blog about going on a digital diet – which, by the way, I totally failed doing. One blog follower got in touch to say it inspired them to go on a digital diet, too. I’ve since been in touch with her and she failed, too.

Since we’re not in the dark ages, and we can’t go back to the days of our parents’ spontaneity – for their honeymoon, my mum and dad toured Wales in a white van with a mattress in the back, so they could stop where and when they liked. Today, they would be pulled over by the police and asked to “move along” from their suspicious roadside camp – times have changed, so I’m moving on from a digital diet, and proposing the opposite. Can digital bring back spontaneity? I’ve scoured the digital universe to found some apps to help procrastinators procrastinate no more. Choose a place, choose a date, turn up and use these:

  1. Fill your time in more than 37 cities with Utrip – in minutes, you have a comprehensive day-by-day itinerary, complete with maps.
  2. Make last minute dinner reservations in London with Uncover.
  3. Discover the best experiences and activities with Peek – it uses geolocation technology and allows users to select by category.
  4. Find attractions with Eventseeker – it brings you a culture fix by pinpointing specific exhibitions, concerts, food festivals, and shows that are worth your while.
  5. If you’re forgetful, and you’re going to somewhere without, god forbid, the internet, save your activity suggestions to Pocket and search offline.

MLH is still searching for my birthday weekend retreat, meanwhile, I’ve packed our bags and I’m waiting by the door.

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