Detoxify Tech

How often do you enjoy silence - the stillness from the constant notification insanity of emails, texts and social media fixes? How about ditching your devices to focus on work and relationships?

Digital obsession is leading us to a tipping point where sleep eludes us and relationships sour. We stare at our screens mindlessly, dribble online for hours, a constant interruption that mars our attention spans and disrupts balances. Technology, intended to make life easier, is at a stance where news of Rupert Murdoch’s divorce and Kim Kardashian’s baby is disengaging us from the people and things that matter.

Time to shout, “Shun the screen". Adopting the new digital lifestyle, which involves putting yourself on a digital diet, is the new fad. It needn’t be ‘anti-technology’ or a painful ‘break-up’; cleanse your technology- spiced soul by pausing and striking the right balance between technology and life. As the trend catches on, users will increasingly choose to pursue activities that don’t involve constant towing the pull-to-refresh lever.

They will seek virtual escapism to regain balance and reconsider their lifestyle choices. Digital detox holidays where travelers choose destinations with no Internet access and no mobile signal, and health and wellness options where many opt for cocktails infused with ingredients such as root vegetables and fermented foods, are some of the ways consumers will make efforts to shift their lifestyle choices.

People recognize the downsides to being constantly connected. Increased stress levels, distraction, worries about social interaction, unease about privacy and general fear that we are not experiencing 'real life' are frequent concerns.

As consumers seek time off the grid, newer opportunities will emerge. Brands and businesses to hop on to the digital detox bandwagon to connect with them in a more meaningful way. Exploring themes of unreality, detachment and escapism when communicating with consumers could be a winner for brands and businesses. For instance, restaurants offering discounts to those who leave their devices at the door, and telecom brands going the ‘social message’ way through public pledge campaigns that encourage consumers to look up from their devices. Understanding consumer needs and crafting a strategy that aligns your brand to your consumers’ lifestyle will help crack this category.

#4.1 Count, Draw, Post

Data visualization and collection is traditionally through tools that often throw standard visualization. However, two young women, Giorgia Lupi and Stefanie Posavec, gave an artistic twist to this technology-prone exercise. Living miles apart across the ocean, they chose to observe, count, draw/explain and post their data, based on a common theme for 52 weeks. They completely removed technology from the equation. Inventing 52 different visual languages to express the data. Their hand-drawings led to designs that were customized to the data they were counting and working with. With absolute no help from technology, hand-drawing their data compelled them to craft the visual model specifically for the dataset they were dealing with. At the same time, by radically limiting themselves and the usage of tools, they were able to ‘spend time’ with the data and understand it at a deeper level. Our Cover Story captures this incredible project.


#4.2 The Tranquil Chair

Designer Agata Nowak created an unusual office chair that helps users disconnect from technology. The 'Offline Chair' makes it easier for users to take a digital detox, by forcing them to disconnect from technology. The comfy chair is designed to break our addiction to smartphones by forcing the user to put their device inside a specially-made pocket. This pocket is covered in a special fabric that helps block all mobile and Wi-Fi signals. Once the user has disengaged from their smartphone, they can enjoy relaxing in the super soft office chair. For those who find themselves unable to take a break from the online world, this chair is a great way to cultivate a few minutes of peace and quiet.

Source: -technology

#4.3 Disable with a Pepper Grinder

A gadget masquerading as an innocent pepper grinder is a cool experiment to magically disable all forms of digital technology and reclaim your personal life. A smart device that blocks WiFi signals, turns off phones and tablets, and temporarily switches off televisions with one twist, Dolmio Pepper Hacker is supposed to bring us closer together. To turn off electrical products, all of them must be connected to a main power hub. Phones, however, must first be connected to AirWatch, a management app that locks a phone remotely. Thus, this super cool gadget allows you to enjoy peaceful family time without everyone staring mindlessly at their screens.


#4.4 Unwind at Hotels

The InterContinental Montréal is now offering a Digital Detox hotel package for those who want a brief escape from technology. In recent years, many hotels and resorts have begun catering to the needs of travelers who are looking to ditch their smartphones. This hotel package not only helps guests unplug from their digital devices, but it also helps them relax and unwind.


#4.5 Disconnect to Reconnect

Companies such as Reebok, KFC, McDonald’s and Oppo Smartphones are using innovative methods to promote their brand in ways that drive consumers to keep aside their devices and enjoy life’s moments. For instance, Reebok Korea’s ‘Subway Pump Battle’ campaign is designed as a game that is played in the subway, where two commuters are chosen and encouraged to race in pressing the maximum number of pump buttons within limited time. While it pushes commuters to work out, it also gives them screen-free time. KFC Malaysia’s campaign ‘Phone Stack’ was created to bring people together, and help them reconnect with the people around them. It built an app where people would link their phones in a stack at the outlets. By activating the phone’s gyroscope and accelerometer, it challenged people to not touch their phones and make time for conversations. The longer their stack was undisturbed, the more they were rewarded.