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Digital Detox: Going Off The Grid
By: Jennifer Graber
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Twitter. Facebook. Instagram. Email. Vine. Tumblr. LinkedIn. Pinterest. Text messages. Google+. Laptops. Desktops. Smartphones. Tablets. With no end in sight, there is obviously no denying how digitally connected we are to coworkers, bosses, neighbors, friends, family, and the rest of the world. And because of this we all have digital and social media moments we might just like to hide in the closet or sweep under the rug. Perhaps you have responded to an allegedly "urgent" email from your boss at your kid’s soccer tournament. Maybe you have spent the wee hours of the morning browsing Pinterest for that one recipe — instead of sleeping. Or, have you ever signed off of your laptop only to immediately pick up and sign on to your smartphone or tablet (guilty as charged)? Whether we are tethered to our devices and digital world for business or pleasure, it is important to know that the first step is admitting we have a problem.
 
It is somewhat of a complex problem. There is an increasing pressure to go digital — professionally and personally. After all, if we are not online, how can we keep up with our families or complete our work tasks? Specifically with work, often we are required to be connected 365/24/7 or we risk being out of the loop professionally. Some bosses can even become perturbed if you do not respond to emails and complete tasks at all hours of the day. So what do we do? Though digital connection is unfortunately unavoidable, we can make a concerted effort to go off the grid from time to time with a digital detox.
 
In fact, one company is aiming to detox us in a big way. The Digital Detox is an organization whose philosophy is all about balance of life, technology, and nature. The organization aims to give us rest from our dependency and the litany of problems associated with it. The Digital Detox is a retreat in which “attendees give up their smart-phones and gadgets in exchange for four days of serenity and bliss.” The retreat offers activities and amenities such as yoga, meditation, organic meals, hiking, and workshops — all in a "natural environment." The retreat and its amenities are designed to allow participants to live in the moment, completely off the grid, and free from technology and digital media. Think of it as summer camp for adults — a quiet respite in which we, not our digital devices, are recharged.
 
Now, some argue that a complete detox is unnecessary and will not work until we reconfigure our brains by setting boundaries for ourselves. Boundaries could include turning off the smartphone at 5:00 p.m., no social media after 9:00 p.m., or setting a limit on time spent online. But, on the flipside, how does one rewire his or her brain without first detoxing their systems? The detox could possibly be considered a mechanism by which to retrain your brain — a wakeup call that jolts us back into reality. Perhaps there is a compromise, mini-detoxes, which would combine the two approaches. After all, have we not all wished we could just shut off Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter — just to get away from it all? So is this something you would ever consider doing? Either a full detox or even a mini-detox?
 
As a society, and evolving business landscape, we will forevermore be entrenched in digital and social media — it is our new way of life. But the moral of the story is that it can be refreshing to disconnect from the digital world, from time to time, and reconnect with yourself.


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About the Author
Jennifer Graber is a Business Development Manager and marketing enthusiast. Her specific interests include branding, consumer behavior, development, integrated marketing communications, and new & social media.
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