For people who find self-induced restrictions too hard to enforce or just want an escape from their cellphones, there are actual retreats. These can cost you: A creative writing detox retreat in Ibiza runs around $2,200 for a week of connection-free bliss (sans airfare).
For example, you might want to use your phone to play your Spotify or Apple Music playlist while you are working out, but setting it to airplane mode will make sure that you aren’t distracted by phone calls, texts, other messages, or app notifications during your workout.
“A digital detox gives our minds and bodies an opportunity to restore their natural rhythms,” says Jennifer Weniger, PhD, a licensed psychologist and marriage and family therapist at Loma Linda University Behavioral Medicine Center . “It can enhance relationships and productivity. It can provide you with a genuine opportunity to feel mentally and physically relaxed.”
These programs can be labelled under different names — digital wellness, digital detox, digital minimalism — but they’re all addressing the same issue.
What’s all this fuss about “digital detox” — and does it really work?
Designate tech-free hours. Many of us feel "naked" when we’re without our devices, but taking breaks from technology can do wonders for our well-being. "Start by designating a certain time each day that’s tech-free—like while you’re eating lunch," says Adam Alter, PhD, a professor at NYU and author of Irresistible: The Rise of Addictive Technology and the Business of Keeping Us Hooked ($27; amazon.com). "Then see how you feel after a week or so. Most people feel happy with the change, and they go on to expand it."
Sure, our smartphones are handy tools for finding out answers, keeping in touch with friends, or even checking the time. But often, more often than we think, we use our phones to distract, avoid, or ignore whatever is happening right in front of us.
5 Signs You Need a Technology Detox.