South Africa: Is Digital Detox the New Status Symbol?

IT and Social Media

Forget fasting, hydrotherapy, and yoga. Digital detox is the latest fad, according to a Game Reserve in South Africa, where guests are encouraged to check their smartphones and laptops when they check in.


Dinner under the stars – with smartphones checked at the front desk. Photo Credit: Lalibella Game Reserve.


Lalibela Game Reserve in South Africa is one of a small but growing number of hotels, resorts, travel lodges, and game reserves encouraging guests to check their smartphones and notepads when they check in.

“In an always-on world, digital detox is the latest travel fad – check your smartphones and tablets at the door and “disconnect to reconnect” in remote, wild locations, goes the thinking,” says the press release.

“The benefits of taking a break from your desk – clear the head and get fresh perspective, spur creativity and problem-solving, calm down and reduce stress – are widely known. But when that break is accompanied by a smartphone or tablet, the effect is greatly diminished. Organizational psychologists and workplace behaviourists are reporting increased levels of stress – and ironically, less productivity – stemming from the pressure to respond to every query immediately.”

I did something similar on my recent trip to Bali. In respect of the island’s Silent Day, when lights and televisions are supposed to be turned off, I switched off my laptop for 24 hours.

I must say, it was a liberating experience. Maybe we should give ourselves a digital detox once a month – or better yet, once a week.


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