Research from Pew Internet has found that American adults consider their phone an essential utility that they would have trouble functioning without.
With approximately 85 percent of American adults owning a cell phone, the study found that 67 percent of these people may find themselves checking their phone for messages, alerts, or calls — even when they don’t notice their phone ringing or vibrating.
“This is the modern dilemma: There is pronounced social pressure for people to stay connected and respond quickly to the incoming blizzard of contact from others. At the same time, many people wish they could disengage every once in a while,” said Aaron Smith, research associate and lead author of the research report.
This constant need for connectivity may also have an impact on our health. A study by the U.S. Army and University of California showed that participants who were denied access to email for five days had significantly lower stress levels and experienced more natural, variable heart rates.
Tourism destinations are now taking advantage of this need to escape technology by creating ‘digital detox’ packages. Here are a few of our favourites:
St. Vincent and The Grenadines
Guests at these Caribbean islands can 'de-tech' and hand over their gadgets to fully enjoy a technology-free break. Included in the package is a pre-mailed guidebook explaining how to function on a trip without technology and an onsite life coach who provides advice on how not to let technology control your life.
The Digital Detox
The Digital Detox offer tech-free personal wellness retreats where attendees give up their smart-phones and gadgets in exchange for four days of yoga, meditation, hiking, hot tubs, writing workshops and healthy eating.
The Renaissance, Pittsburgh
This Pittsburgh hotel gives the whole family a chance to unplug and reconnect, with all technology including the television, phone and iPhone dock station removed from rooms and replaced with board games and playing cards.
Via Yoga offers surfing and yoga retreats in Mexico and Costa Rica, providing a discount for those brave enough to check their smart-phones, iPads and computers at reception and surf the waves instead of the web.
Have you ever taken a digital detox? How long did you last?