Digital Detox

17. February 2020

Finally going offline!

What would we do without our smartphones? Studies show that we look at our mobile phone an average of 150 times a day. This can quite safely be called an addiction, as health experts have been propagating for some time now. Nowadays, the smartphone is used for everything. Taking pictures, booking trips and shopping – all inclusive.

Addiction and constant availability can therefore lead to considerable stress. Still worse, many people even take their mobile phones to bed with them, and even on holiday you can always be reached. Every day we are exposed to digital stress and can hardly escape it. On the run from this, many tour operators and hotels have become creative.

Digital rehabs

Health tourism has therefore found a new way of fasting for itself. The trend is called “Digital Detox”. Levi Felix and Brooke Dean coined this term in 2012 in California. They wanted to cure themselves and others of online addiction. “Digital Detox” was the magic word.

Finally going offline

In order to escape the data stream, some contemporaries even flee to a monastery in order to get no more mails and to be able to switch off completely if possible. Holidays without any media, TV, laptop or Wifi are becoming a huge trend against constant availability. Digital detoxification is pure detox, a travel provider even offers holidays without communication in Africa. On the “Digital Detox” trip on the 5,895-metre-high Kilimanjaro in Tanzania, you are guaranteed to be offline.

But you don’t have to go that high. Detox and Pilates tours are also offered on Mallorca or even by some hotels in Bavaria with the slogan “Vacation without Smartphone”. There are reasons for this, as the expansion of digitalisation in the mountains is seen as part of the “Bavarian Alpine Strategy”, which has the effect that there should soon be comprehensive Wifi in the mountains. But is that even necessary and who needs this? Apparently the Bavarian government has not yet gotten around to the idea that people are literally fleeing from digitization to farms, remote hotels and even to Kilimanjaro. Holidays in offline mode and holidays without smartphones, tablets & co. seem to be more and more popular.

Digital detoxification on vacation

Yet a holiday without mobile phone and internet is good for our health and our relationships. Especially the mobile phone is a big culprit, it does not necessarily influence our social life for the better. There is hardly a relaxed evening with your partner or friends without looking at the smartphones. And that kills any stimulating conversation. That’s called radio silence. But you should take the time to relax, especially on holiday. Leaving your smartphone at home is a good idea.

Wipe, click, look at the display

In 2017, a survey conducted by the market research institute GfK for the company Auto Europe revealed that 93 percent of German citizens reach for their smartphone or tablet while on vacation. 28% of those surveyed said they use their smartphone for one to two hours a day. Two percent even came up to ten hours. One should not take this digital anklet and the resulting constant availability with one on vacation or at least switch it off most of the time, otherwise the vacation harmony will quickly go to waste.

According to a study, anyone who uses apps on smartphones, tablets or similar devices more than 60 times a day is considered addicted. According to Professor Alexander Markowetz of the University of Bonn, owners activate their mobile phone on average 53 times a day and interrupt their actual activity every 18 minutes – this rate is even higher among young people, according to the professor.

In 2018, a hotel in Stuttgart became the talk of the town, as reported in all the daily newspapers. The Weinstadt-Hotel near Stuttgart asks its guests to refrain from using their smartphones and laptops in the restaurant, breakfast room and on the terrace. According to the hotel, peace and privacy are important to its guests. WLAN may only be used in the rooms and in the lobby. ASI Reisen, a provider of hiking and trekking tours goes even further. Those who book here must hand in their mobile phone at the beginning of the trip, voluntarily of course.

A technology-free holiday makes sense. For example, you would no longer have to search the entire city or your holiday destination for a restaurant or bar with WLAN. And it’s even better to enjoy your vacation without annoying e-mails, disturbing WhatsApp pictures and unnecessary SMS messages.

The constant presence of social media can really ruin your vacation, so get rid of it. You can finally pay more attention to your loved ones, family and friends again or improve your relationship.

And the best part is, not only your employer, but also your entire social environment will have to realize that you are not responsible for everything and the solution to all their problems.

Now, if anyone is still worried about how to capture holiday experiences without a smartphone, there are great photo cameras out there that often have much better picture quality than any smartphone. And please, what’s the point of having daily Instagram mail? How about just sending a nice postcard to those who stayed at home, just like you used to. The joy of it should be greater than an SMS or Instagram mail.

A small disadvantage is that without a smartphone you have to calculate the tip in the restaurant in your head again, but this will benefit your brain cells. You should put a book in the hand of your YouTube-addicted offspring, given the recent news that more than 20 percent of students can no longer read and write properly, this can’t be a mistake.

Without a mobile phone and internet, you can use your free time to do something good for yourself and your body, such as hiking, swimming in the sea or even a walk on the beach can be very beneficial. It is only when you take your mobile phone out of use that you realise how wonderful life without a screen can be.

If you don’t want your relaxation to fall by the wayside, why not give up your mobile phone and Internet for your next holiday? It will do you good! Give it a try!