Do we need to escape for a “Digital Detox”?

Do we need to escape for a “Digital Detox”?

Have you ever felt like you are getting too much information?

That between your morning social media routine and your study program assignments you almost never get away from a computer screen?

Then you might consider a new kind of tourism for your next vacations: digital detox.

To find out what’s behind this buzz word I found a paper, written by Stacey Morisson and Ricardo Gomez from the University of Washington, claiming that this phenomenon is partly caused by “a group of discontents who used to be euphoric embracers of the opportunities of technological connectivity, but who are now looking for ways to push back and resist, to manage or reduce their use and perceived dependence on technology”.

And this dependence has a serious impact on  20 to 24 years old man and woman, according to a study from BMC Psychiatry titled “Computer use and stress, sleep disturbances, and symptoms of depression among young adults – a prospective cohort study”. Fun!

camp_2014_smaller-58As “off the grid” as it gets ! – “Camp Grounded” from Digital Detox ©

A few companies already started to make profit out of it by branding their traveling deal as “information detox”. In California, a company literally named “Digital Detox” offers you to join a 3-day summer camp for adults for about 300€. It includes “friendship bracelets” making, late-night campfires and a wide range of green activities to help the participants in their digital disconnection. Another example is the French company “Intro the Tribes”, which simply brand regular trips as “totally unplugged trip”, probably with a cheap communication jammer on site. A trip to Greece without Instagram will cost you a bit less than 500€ with them. 

The market could be huge in the future, particularly among the “digital natives who technically never experienced life without a massive amount of information going through their eyes and ears.

15493808033_8f19fb6b62_o“Camp Grounded” from Digital Detox ©

As a creative technology students you need to spend a huge amount of hours in front of your screen, and even though our study is there to understand such complex human relations to modern technology, we do not have many guidelines on the matter. We might already be the future clients of digital detox oriented companies.

osefOn the right: a note I keep on my desk “10 minutes of thinking is better than 30 googling”

Can you imagine the precise impact hours of internet browsing can have on your daily life?

The seriousness of “digital detox” trips is hard to investigate without going there to discover how far they can push the discussion on technology dependence. There are multiple research on the matter but it is still a very young problem: our generation might need to fix digital and social media related addictions. In the meantime here’s an idea: plan such a trip with friends or family, figure out your own rules (which technology to block, activities to replace them, …) and try to reflect on the impact of such detox. (maybe an idea for a future Proto trip?).

Set your own rules and escape the digital flow! Unless, of course, you fall into yet another infinite Youtube playlist and completely forget about “digital detox” anyway.

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