A friend recently shared an article with me about how a NY Times journalist “unbroke his brain” by going on a digital detox!
I’m fully familiar with the profound effects of switching off in nature, through my own experience of spending plenty of time out in the forest and through witnessing the effect it has on our guests here at Eco Retreats.
But I was totally unaware of the huge industry that has grown up around the notion of a digital detox. A quick internet search throws up thousands of links to articles, programs, companies, and research extolling the benefits.
Not surprising, I think, as I read that social media is promoting narcissism and screens are making our children less empathetic.
And yet in the UK, 33% of us pick up our phones within 5 minutes of waking up and 20% couldn’t go more than 2 hours without checking our phones.
Apparently, just a few days off our devices can help us enjoy stronger connections with people around us, more eye contact, better sleep, improved memory and better posture, just to name a few.
Having worked and travelled all over the world, I have found the power of technology for communications to be incredible, and the wealth of information at our fingertips truly amazing. But it’s so important to ensure that we are using technology, rather than feeling used by it. As I have learned when I stay out in the forest too long, the world doesn’t actually fall apart if I am not immediately responsive to my phone calls and emails 🙂
Life is so rich when we are really “here”, without our devices constantly interrupting our presence. Discipline around switching off is an important part of a mindful living lifestyle and digital detox experience.
It’s really hard for most people to find a way to switch off in their normal home environment, and increasingly people are seeking out spaces where they can relax undisturbed.
Eco Retreats is one of those special spots with only a couple of weak and unreliable spots of mobile phone signal across the whole 50 acre + site. Most of our guests don’t look at their phones the entire time they are with us.
The NY Times journalist recommends: “I cannot stress enough that under the right conditions, spending an entire weekend without a phone in your immediate vicinity is incredible. You have to try it.” Up for a digital detox challenge?