Digital Detoxing - Social Media Age Necessity or Hollow Fad?
A very common complaint about modern society is that we're all a bit too connected. I mean sure, social media has enabled us to forge friendships without borders, set up businesses with no fixed office and gain unlimited access to infinite animal GIFs, but is a life spent staring at screens turning us all into the digital undead?
Some seem to think so, which is part of the reason why 'digital detox' camps have suddenly come into existence. What's digital detoxing? Glad you asked, it's essentially a retreat you go to where you completely relinquish your technological tethers, no computers, no phones,  no smartwatches, not even a solitary FitBit. 
It's an intriguing idea, if not a particularly revolutionary one, after all that's how weekend retreats used to work by default, back when none of this technology was as portable, or permanently hooked up to the grid. There are a few examples of this that are just retreats which give you the option of uncoupling yourself from the web, but many newer iterations do actually make it their main prerogative, such as Camp Grounded.
Camp Grounded has 4 sites: Mendocino in California, Cold Spring in upstate New York, Hendersonville in North Carolina and Marble Falls in Texas. All of them follow the same ethos - beautiful surroundings, activities that make adults feel like big kids and absolutely zero internet or digital access until you leave.

It's an intriguing idea, but is there any merit to it beyond a few days bumming around in forests and lakes? Seemingly there very much is. Evidence has suggested that people who take more time out from their digital proclivities forge better relationships, have improved mental health and are generally more productive. Like the Radiohead song, but without the deliberate irony. 
Many companies have actually adopted digital detoxing as a form of company vacation, which will sound familiar if you've ever seen The Thick of It. More and more, digital dependency is becoming a recognised condition among psychologists, and social media has a particularly active roll in it. The need to scroll through a news feed several times a day, watch a status update to see the likes trickle in, or even just wait to see when someone sees a message are all on the more severe end of the spectrum. 
The beauty of 'digital detoxing' is that it needn't be something you have to seek out. It's as simple as just taking some time away from screens, for a few hours, a day or a weekend, as long as people know they won't be able to get hold of you. You could even just turn all your push notifications off so that only calls and texts come through, cutting out anything that you can wait to look at until later. Give it a try some time, you might find yourself feeling very refreshed, and less square-eyed.

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