This post has been inspired by a number of things, namely; a fantastic article in The Times entitled ‘Have you got FOBO (Fear of Being Offline)? ’ (Barbara McMahon, July 18th 2015) and realising that I was suffering from nomophobia after scoring particularly badly (or well) in the below test.


Having spent the last 10 years reprimanding my children for being permanently attached to their smart phones, I decided to stop being a hypocrite, lead by example and disconnect myself from the internet and the associated constant interruption of incoming emails whilst on my recent family summer holiday.

The result was astonishing; it was the best and most relaxing holiday I have enjoyed since establishing Millen Capital in 1998. For the following reasons I recommend it to all fellow nomophobes:-

  1. I forgot about work for 14 days and actually properly switched off and rejuvenated my energy and commitment to my business
  2. My kids and my wife said I was the least grumpy I had been for years and was actually fun (some of the time!) to be with
  3. I wasn’t depressed, like normal, every time I clicked on Sky News or BBC News because I didn’t do it for 14 days
  4. I actually got to think about a lot of important stuff that I hadn’t had time to do for years, such as what do I want to do with the rest of my life?
  5. I was constantly not distracted to the extent I actually read a book for the first time on holiday in years
  6. I have not felt as relaxed and slept as well in a long time
  7. Rather than spend time on my iPhone, I decided to put this time to better use and learned to kite surf, which at 46, to my surprise, my teenage lads told me was ‘odd, but quite cool!’

As a result I have made a commitment to myself to never check my emails on holiday ever again and would encourage anyone who reads this to try it – don’t  take my word for it, give it a go !

If the above are not reason enough, I would like to provide anecdotal evidence. After seeing a chap called Eric on the beach, (I knew he was called Eric because he must have shouted into his Blackberry and/or iPhone, he had both, ‘Tell him to call Eric back ASAP or the deal’s off’ at least 3 times a day) mincing up and down in his white city linen shirt, his three young kids pleading with him to help with their sand castle building only to be told ‘Daddy has an important deal on the go, be quite’ reminded me that people like that, who think they are successful, are actually the opposite. If they were successful and had built a successful team around them they would realise their children are far more important than the next ‘deal’ and wouldn’t have to make or take calls when they are supposed to be having important time away with their families.

When Eric’s made his millions in 10 years and he’s ready to spend time with his kids, they’ll be long gone and he will be all alone on the beach with his smart phone and a bunch of regrets.


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