The average American spends 8 to 12 hours per day interacting with a screen, sends or receives about 400 texts a month, and uses 30 percent of their leisure time on the web. Most people can't remember the last time they went for more than 24 hours sans technology, and research has found that the majority of us feel tied down by the very tools that were created to make our lives more efficient. Instead, our reliance and addiction to technology has led to a decrease in our productivity levels and an increase in our stress levels.
Levi Felix, who used to work at corporate philanthropy platform Causecast.com, has experienced firsthand the potentially devastating effects of living in the modern world. After working long hours and eating poorly, he ended up in the hospital and was forced to re-evaluate his priorities. Felix subsequently sold his car and clothes and trekked off to Southeast Asia, where he stayed for two and a half years. When he came back to America, he came back with a mission: “to show people how to connect, how to shed these rules and unwritten codes we bought into.”
In 2012, Felix founded Digital Detox with Brooke Dean. The Oakland, California-based group leads intimate, tech-free personal wellness retreats where participants “give up their smartphones and gadgets in exchange for four days of serenity and bliss.” The retreats are designed to help attendees disconnect with technology and reconnect with themselves. Activities include yoga, meditation, hiking, hot tub soaking, healthy eating, and creative workshops.
“My goal now is to connect people,” says Felix. “There's always going to be more media, more to do outside of where you are. The only moment that matters is right now.”
Digital Detox aims to help participants gain a refreshed approach, energy, and creative inspiration after a few days off the grid.