When was the last time you went a week—or even a day—without plugging into your phone, computer, or tablet? Chances are it’s been a while.
While many of us require this technology for our jobs, our screen time often takes up far too much of our free time. Constant scrolling and swiping has been linked to everything from anxiety to sleep problems and loneliness, and it leaves many of us wondering how we can escape the technology overload.
Analogue holidays on the rise
As we learn more about the downsides of the digital era, analogue holidays are on the rise and in demand. During these getaways—also known as digital detoxes—vacationers take a retreat from technology, trading artificial distractions for the pleasures of real life.
Benefits of going off the grid
Getting away from the constant beeping, pinging, and buzzing allows us to slow down, breathe, and relax.
Read from the pages of a book instead of a screen. Daydream. Have a conversation that’s not interrupted by Google. And take a photograph for the sake of the photograph—not just to post on social media.
Shift your perspective
Taking a digital break helps us notice and question the ways we’ve become reliant on technology, inviting new balance when we go back to the “real world.”
Choose your own adventure
Interested in a digital detox but not sure if you’re ready to completely disconnect? Luckily, digital-free tourism doesn’t have to be all or nothing.
Although some destinations are staunchly off the grid, others provide varying levels of tech-accessibility (like providing Wi-Fi only in hotel lobbies), while others simply encourage a “tech-free attitude.” Do a bit of research to discover the adventure that’s right for you.
DIY digital cleansing
You don’t have to travel across the globe or spend hundreds of dollars to have a digital detox. Here are some ways to downsize your digital footprint at home.
At least one hour before bed, shut off all electronics in favor of a book, bath, or conversation with your spouse.
Your circadian rhythms will thank you for the digital-free downtime—it’s well-documented that screen time before bed interferes with sleep quality.
Plan a digital-free date
Leave the phones at home next time you head out for dinner or a walk with your honey.
Going sans phone can make your date more fulfilling. A recent study found that simply being around mobile devices—even when we’re not using them—detracts from the quality of our face-to-face interactions.
Take an analogue staycation
Unplug the Wi-Fi and lock away your devices for an entire weekend of technology-free bliss.
It’s critical for kids to have time away from screens—even if they’re soon complaining that they’re bored. In fact, boredom can be a unique opportunity for children to discover creative ways to fill their time—through play, art, or simply observing the world around them.