Breaking Grid Addiction: Smartphone users resort to dying natural luxury

Intentious - Smartphone Free Zone - Grid Addiction - Controversial News

The rise of the smartphone has seen people constantly attached to their devices in ways history has never before seen. The mid-term effects on human beings are only starting to be observed.

An interesting observation is that a steady increase in accommodation check-ins is turning into a worldwide boom — for remote resorts where smartphones are out of service range.

That lost feeling of being “off the grid” is now such a sought-after luxury for most people of developed nations that even inside urban zones, health retreats are beginning to offer holiday packages where contact with the outside world is deliberately limited, in an effort to recreate the dying natural luxury of being away from technological methods of communication.

Three such resorts in Queensland are Lizard Island, Gwinganna and Camp Eden, situated on the Gold Coast.

Ecotourism Australia CEO Kim Cheatham said the advantage of travelling to the increasingly fewer places that don’t have mobile phone reception is that people can enjoy quality family time, rather than succumb to the constant urge to use their smartphones in front of each other.

The smartphone is destroying our ability not only to communicate, but to interact with and enjoy the world around us. Most of us, myself included, spend our days walking around with our noses buried in our cell phones, BlackBerrys, iPhones, etc. Gone are the days where one can even wait for a mere coffee without checking his or her pocket device.

What this has led to, is an underlying, ever-growing sense of detachment from meaningful interactions: Grid Addiction, as I call it, is leaving citizens ironically more alone and disenchanted with their human relationships than ever before. So much so, people are resorting (pun intended) to top-dollar destinations just to get away from the temptation.

This reduced sense of connection felt by most people is a big factor in forming and maintaining relationships. It is also problematic when switching off from ones “broadcasted social identity” is no longer possible.

Few can ever truly relax beyond a largely superficial image of themselves, which no doubt is playing a hugely significant part in the worldwide depression epidemic.

“You actually get people connecting with where they are and immersing themselves in the destination instead of constantly checking their alternative virtual world,” Cheatham observes.

“From a family holiday point of view imagine if your kids weren’t able to spend all their time on Facebook on their smartphones and can actually talk?”

Gwinganna spokeswoman Tracy Wills said people were increasingly seeking sanctuary at health retreats where mobile phone use was restricted.

“We have no mobile phones in public areas – that includes texting,” she said.

“Of course we know people need to stay in touch so they can use their mobiles in their room and we have a designated area if they can’t get reception in their room. Staff phones are also on silent. We like to create an environment where people connect with each other. They can have conversations rather than being distracted and multi-tasking.”

Clearly, smartphones are the new smoking.

Speaking on the nature of luxury, Lizard Island spokeswoman Jill Collins sums it up perfectly:

“Luxury used to be about what thread count the sheets were and how many stars a resort had.

The new luxury is about being able to focus on who you are and getting away from all of those everyday things.”

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Categories: Business, Entertainment, Health, Medicine, Science, Technology

Author:Andrew Beato

CEO, Chief Editor and founder of Intentious. Passionate comment enthusiast, amateur philosopher, Quora contributor, audiobook and general knowledge addict.

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2 Comments on “Breaking Grid Addiction: Smartphone users resort to dying natural luxury”

  1. February 1, 2012 at 6:57 am #

    Destroying our ability to communicate? I’m not sure how smartphones are sending us down that path since it’s a form of communication. This is an interesting article, but I’m skeptical of the fact that people would enjoy family time more without their smart phones. I think that checking your smart phone is just a way to pass the boredom that being around family brings.
    The person in the article mentions gone are the days when you could wait for a coffee without checking your smart phone. Is that really a problem? What is so interesting about waiting in line for coffee that it’s better when you can’t check your smart phone?

    • February 1, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      Thanks for commenting Kotenks. I should probably have added “IRL” 😉

      The problem is that we find families boring, in fact almost any situation boring when it isn’t via a device connected to the grid. This wasn’t as big an issue in the past. It’s not that they “are” boring, it’s that we have forgotten how to find enjoyment outside of our addiction. Classic addict behavior.

      It’s the noticing and interacting with what’s going on around you that is being broken down. If not holding conversations with others or being alert enough to interact with your surroundings more, it could be as simple as enjoying the fact that you have a 5 minute opportunity to exercise your depth of field and enjoy your real life environment without automatically wondering what you could turn into an Instagram photo and post online.

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