In today’s society, it’s becoming common, if not necessary in some cases, to have ‘digital detox trips’ for people addicted to their in-palm technology – smartphones, laptops, wearables, tablets. We’re so good at connecting that we seem to have forgotten how to disconnect; even when on vacation.
San Francisco-based travel agent Digital Detox claims, “As we disconnect from our devices, we reconnect with ourself, our community, nature and the world at large.” They offer getaways to a camp site out in the country side, where YouTube clips are replaced with camp fire songs and Angry Birds make way for traditional board games.
Luxury hotel chain Four Seasons is presenting its guests in Guanacaste, Costa Rica, and Hampshire, England, with a Digital detox challenge – asking everyone to put away their devices for a couple of days. The hotel staff saw the need to get people thinking after noticing that guests lying around pool were too busy paying attention to their phones to even notice the beautiful nature around them.
The Westin in Dublin is also catching on, offering a Digital detox package for anyone going on a trip to enjoy the Irish capital. “Liberate yourself from your smartphone, laptop and gadgets, and replace all that digital clutter with relaxation, renewal and a few thoughtful touches,” it says. The package comes complete with a handy detox survival kit, including a walking map, a relaxing white tea candle, a board game and a tree-planting kit to take home with you.
Natasha Mauthner writes more on the issue for The Conversation in the article, “We don’t need digital detox, but there is a need to rethink our relationship with technology“.
We have come to a point where people need an extra reminder to disconnect in order to truly relax; as studies show Americans spend an average of 444 minutes each day staring at screens (that’s over seven hours a day), while Indonesians are putting in nine hours a day in front of TVs, computers and smart devices.
Either we need to learn how to disconnect, at least when outside of work, or we need to find technologies to help us cut down on our tech-heavy diet; maybe by helping us point out the information that is truly important to us, and filtering out the rest, so that we are able to focus on something other than our screens, at least for an extra hour or so per day.