A recent study published in the Journal of Travel Research found that travelers who opted for a digital detox while traveling had a better experience than those who didn’t. Although travelers were initially anxious and frustrated when they disconnected from technology, especially navigations apps, those feelings soon gave way to acceptance and enjoyment. What’s more, those who didn’t use technology while traveling spent more time engaged with their travel companions and talking with strangers.
What is a Digital Detox?
People go on all kinds of detox diets to clear their body of unwanted toxins. A digital detox, on the other hand, attempts to clear the mind of all the unwanted bleeps of messenger apps, from the insistent ping of Facebook, and from the myriad other distractions of the virtual world, thus enabling us to focus on what truly matters in our lives. It is „a period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world“ (Oxford Dictionary, Cambridge Dictionary)
What better way to achieve this than to go up the gangway, only to meet and make new friends aboard a small ship?
You are not alone, or what the research says:
Those who use 7-10 social media plattforms were three times more likely to report depressive symptoms than those who use 2 or fewer.
Sedentary Lifestyle issues
Three-quarters of people in the world today lead sedentary lifestyles. Physical inactivity is the fourth leading risk factor for global mortality and is responsible for more annual deaths than smoking. Sitting for long periods doubles the risk of cardiovascular deseases, diabetes, and obesity, and increases the risks for colon cancer, breast cancer, high blood pressure, osteoporosis, lipid disorders, depression, and anxiety. These chronic deseases are, for the most part, entirely preventable. (World Health Organisation)
Gaming addiction has already been classified as mental health condition/disorder by WHO since 2018 (World Health Organization)
Smartphone addiction leads to higher levels of narcissism and neuroticism (University of Derby)
Mental health issues
Neuroimaging research shows excessive screen time damages the brain (Lin & Zhou et al, 2012, Psychology Today)
Two-thirds of Americans agree that periodically unplugging is important for their mental health (American Psychological Association)
Focus ability issues
Since smartphones have been invented (in 2000), human average attention span has plunged to 8 seconds, equal to that of the notorious goldfish (Microsoft Corp.)
Almost all Americans admit to using some type of screen device in the hour leading up to bed. The artifical blue light from screens suppresses the hormone melatonine, whose lack badlly affects sleep (National Sleep Foundation)
Half of the people miss out on sleep due to internet usage (Ofcom’s Communication Market Report)
A study in Norway among 10,000 teenagers found that those with more than 4 hours screen-time per day did not get enough sleep, averaging less than 5 hours at night. Half of them needed more than an hour to fall asleep. (Hordaland County, Western Norway)
We tap, swipe and click on our devices 2,617 times each day. The heaviest users do this 5,427 times. Per day! (Dscout.com, 2016)
Happiness and Social Media correlation
Staying off social media for a week increases happiness (Hapiness Research Institute, Denmark)