Maddies’ progressive words should get us all to take a long hard look at ourselves and our relationship with our surroundings
“So look up from your phone for a little bit and see there is so much more out there.” Maddie Nakash
When Maddie Nakash saw on the Reach website that the BBC was looking for a volunteer with a visible limb difference for a new series, she leapt at the opportunity.
“It was called Mimi on a Mission – digital Detox and it is now out on BBC iPlayer,” she said. “A group of us went to an outward-bound centre in the Cairngorms in Scotland, camping without our phones for a week with no access to technology.
“It was really strange being without phones but we talked about mental health and how it is impacted by social media. I was the only one with a limb difference. There were three boys and two girls, one of whom who was addicted to gaming and we were with a YouTuber, Mimi Missfit and some chaperones.
“We did abseiling and climbed a mountain and went in the river, fishing and building a raft. It was really fun. Most of it was new to me though I had done some climbing and abseiling before. I was really surprised how close we all got. They were all really nice and it felt as if we had known each other for way longer than one week. It all happened a year ago but we are all still in touch.
“I applied to do it as I am into acting and I have been spending a lot of time indoors and thought it would be a way of doing something different. I did need a digital detox.
“After the first day we all forgot about our phones. We talked and connected with each other really well. We talked about social media and how it can affect people’s mental health in negative ways. I didn’t have very much social media before I went. I always try not top open myself up to social media because I know I wouldn’t be able to take the negative comments very well. I’d be worried about trolling.
“Some of the people there had mental health issues – things like body shape and eating problems and being so much on social media means they forget how to communicate without it. So look up from your phone for a little bit and see there is so much more out there.
“Since the detox I go out more. I walk the dog with my sister and I’m using my phone a lot less and being more conscious of what it can be doing. I know the gamer has not been on her X Box since.
Read the entire Within Reach here: https://reach.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2021/01/Within-Reach-Winter-2020-Web.pdf
Watch Mimi on a Mission: https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p08qry8h