Who could have guessed that a “detox” would eventually come to include disconnecting from the digital world?
When almost every aspect of our lives are somehow connected to technology—whether it be through entertainment, staying in touch with friends and even our occupations —it only makes sense that we’d need a break from it all every once in a while.
Surely, we’re all familiar with how cell phones and digital communication can increase our feelings of stress and anxiety. Red notification bubbles must compulsively be cleared and the amount of emails you need to respond to are seemingly endless.
According to The Telegraph, one report from Public Health England associated excessive screen time (more than four hours per day) with depression and anxiety in children. On the other hand, another study from the University of Utah and Kansas, according to The Daily Mail, found that participants scored 50 percent higher on a “creativity test” after spending four days exploring nature without connecting to any electronic devices.
Some studies have shown that embracing a digital detox may help to reduce stress levels, lower blood pressure and even improve our immune systems.
Of course, because so many of us rely on technology for our work, the best time to disconnect completely is while you’re on vacation. So, for your next trip you might consider a destination like one of the following, where cell service is limited or entirely non-existent and the appeal of the surrounding natural beauty will easily trump any desire to connect with the digital world.
Smith Fork Ranch, situated at the base of the West Elk Mountain Ranch in Crawford, Colo. offers visitors the perfect chance to escape from their connection to the digital world amidst breathtaking landscapes and a wide array of outdoor activities. Cell service here is extremely limited and the entire property only has one TV. Internet only comes in the form of a landline connection that’s available in case of an emergency, but otherwise, guests are fully encouraged to disconnect and indulge in outdoor adventures such as horseback riding, fly fishing, white water rafting, hiking and mountain biking (to name a few).
Colorado River and Grand Canyon, Ariz.
Outfitters at Arizona River Runners invite guests to leave their cell phones behind as they embark on an adventure through the Grand Canyon and down the Colorado River. Trips last anywhere from three to 13 days, but all include whitewater rafting, canyon hikes, creek swimming and waterfall jumping. As an area with zero-connectivity, an escape to the Grand Canyon allows you to automatically unplug and as a result, reconnect not only with your travel companions, but also the great outdoors. “We see families communicating and experiencing life in a way they might never have done in the ubiquitous digital world,” says Kyle Seyler who works with Arizona River Runners.