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16th Feb 2013 11:05am | By Daisy Carrington
New studies claim that techno-addictions are hindering our creativity. The fix? Digital detox
If you’re finding it increasingly hard to kickstart your brain into gear these days, you’re not alone.
A new study by the University of Utah found the amount of time we spend in front of screens – smartphones, tablets, laptops, etc. – can reduce our creativity.
Though it sounds hackneyed, science proves shutting down your personal devices and getting out in nature can give the imagination a boost.
The research showed a 50 per cent surge in brainpower after subjects got away from technology and went out walking in woodlands or parks.
Levi Felix was first bitten by the digital detox bug when a system overload nearly cost him his life. “I was working 80 hours a week for a start-up; I had an iPhone and a Blackberry, and my laptop plugged in right next to my bed.
I burned myself out to the point that I ended up in the hospital with internal bleeding,” he recalls.
Felix knew he needed to change his lifestyle, and spent three years travelling: “I wanted to see what happy communities that weren’t connected 24/7 looked like.”
He brought the concept back to California and set up The Digital Detox retreat, offering a tech-free space for people to engage in ‘real-life’ activities, including meditation and art and writing workshops.
A UK branch is also in the works.“If you’re always engaging in content, you don’t have time to have truly novel thoughts,” Felix notes.
“People switch off their alarm clock and immediately start checking Facebook. They go to the bathroom, and play Angry Birds while on the toilet.
These parts of every day life where you can take a pause and be creative are gone.”
Felix also offers tech-free trips abroad.
The next off-the-grid getaway is set for Cambodia, where guests break up their stay in a solar-powered guesthouse with fishing, snorkeling and jungle hikes.