For many of us the new year rings in another chance to see one and take one (chance) in life, and last year I chose to say farewell to Facebook and I have to say I'll never look back from that resolution.

This year I would like to sing from the same "say goodbye to stuff we don't need" songsheet and spend a lot less time on my cell phone, and a lot more time reading books – and who knows, maybe writing a couple more along the way.

I'm trying hard to digitally detox and stop talking for the sake of it. Hard to do when you are known as a bit of a yakity yak in and out of work huh?

The good news is I am not alone on this kaupapa (cause). I have been pleasantly surprised to find out a few of my mates and family friends are talking the same walk and have made the big call "to hell with the cell" controlling our lives – it's time to get a new one without one.


This opens a quiver of nervous arrows being fired back from friends and others, who rely on getting likes, callbacks and the "pacifier" digital dummy in our inbox, to tell us we are being valued by our friends and whanau.

Here's the thing.

When did this all start, this insecure blanket of being liked by people we hardly know on a list of so-called friends? Really, how many of them do we engage with on a weekly if not yearly basis to warrant the tag friends? Yet we share everything we know about nothing with them.

It's the question I asked myself last year at this time before I closed my Facebook account and now I am asking the same about the rest of my digital addiction, as I head into a digital detox. When did we sell our cellular souls to Facebook and Google and give them power of attorney over our very thoughts and decisions that we make each day?

Turns out we have all done it without even knowing it and now for some of us its time to push the eject button and say ka kite (see ya) to our cell phone addiction and spend more time talking kanohi ki te kanohi (face to face) - not Facebook to Facebook.

There is a great song penned by, in my opinion, one of the greatest songwriters ever – Jimmy Buffett - that could go a long way to helping solve the solution of what to say to friends who you may have unfriended or not called them straight back after they have left a message.

Its title is If The Phone Doesn't Ring You Will Know That It's Me.

Check it out and check out Jimmy as well as he sure knows how to spin a good yarn and make you feel good at the same time.


Jimmy knows his craft and is an accomplished troubadour like no other when putting lyrics to a tune and telling a story that can instantly transport you to another tropical part of the planet. The proof in Jimmy's pudding are songs that sound just as good sober as they do when you're wasted away in Margaritaville, his trademark best known ballad.

I bumped into Jimmy on a tropical desert island - as you do, and did back in the 80s and was fortunate to spend some time with him shooting the breeze and it was the Floridian with the changes in attitude and changes in latitude who encouraged me to write children's books, something he was doing for his daughter Savannah.

"Write your own story – it's your one and only chance in life to tell your history for your next generations to follow"

He said it then, many have said it since and I am saying it again now and sharing it with y'all.

Here goes a year of digital detox with a lot fewer meaningless messages and twitterless tweets.

I will pay it forward and apologise now for the no replies in the future if it can't wait until we catch up.

I may have missed your call or your email. It could well have been binned to junk or still sitting up there in cyber space.

However and whatever the circumstances of us getting back in touch, I'll leave it with my mate Mr Margaritaville to respond:

"If the phone doesn't ring you will know that it's me"