Everywhere you look, it seems people are connected to their phones, tablets of the computer. Commuters play games and answer e-mails on the bus. People scroll through their news-feeds while eating lunch and employees struggle to resist the urge to check their messages during meetings. But as our culture becomes more and more connected to technology, people are purposefully finding creative ways to unplug. A swift Google search will turn up a wide variety of articles on the topic of digital detox and phrases such as an “I’m having a Facebook vacation” don’t seem so unusual. As people are beginning to step back and take breaks from the digital world, activities that encourage interactions are becoming popular.
Take gaming for instance. As online gaming has increased, so has “real-world” games. Recently there has been a surge in board game cafes where customers can enjoy a coffee and choose from a huge selection of board games to play with their friends. Other companies, such as the room escape los angeles have added a twist to the traditional games – what they call a “live game experience.” To start things off your team is giving a challenge you must solve – should you choose to accept. Challenges range from venue to venue, but can be anything from robbing a bank to saving the world from a zombie virus. Your groups then enter a themed room that has been designed specifically for that challenge. Once the clock starts ticking, you must work together as a team to find clues and solve puzzles to complete their challenge in the given time.
Other companies have taken the idea of having a break from the digital world a step further in actively encouraging their customers to turn off their phone. One pub in England recently blocked cell signals from its location to promote conversation between patrons. Hotels and retreats companies are also catering to people wishing to unplug, and businesses are beginning to offer digital detox packages. These accommodations range from simply not having TV in the room or wi-fi access all the way to being located in a remote location without any cell phone access.
So, whenever you’re feeling stuck in the rut with your technology, step back and take a bit of a break. Whatever you’re interested in there are sure to be others out there with similar interests. You’ll not only feel more refreshed, but studies show there a multitude of positive benefits.