When was the last time you went for more than a few hours without looking at your phone? Your last holiday? Chances are that even while you were lying on the beach you were still checking emails or tweeting about the weather.
These days, technology rules our lives — and our dependence on it is making it impossible to switch off. There's even a new term — nomophobia — to describe our phone addiction. Experts believe technology is making us more impatient, forgetful and narcissistic. It's even changing the way we sleep, leaving our brains too wired to get a decent night's rest. A recent survey showed that 34 per cent of us feel so overwhelmed by technology that we feel the need to escape from it. So what are you waiting for? The trouble is that stepping away from our smartphones is often easier said than done.
Luckily, an increasing number of hotels are offering 'digital detox' breaks — where you hand over your phone, laptop and iPad on arrival, leaving you no choice but to go gadget free. The Westin in Dublin (thewestindublin.com, from £141 per person) recently launched a one-night 'digital detox' package. After surrendering your gadgets on arrival, enjoy a luxurious in-room massage to iron out knots from hunching over a keyboard all day. The package also includes an old-fashioned board game and
a map to explore the city.
Canada's Echo Valley Ranch & Spa's package (evranch.com, two nights from £417pp) includes activities such as horse-riding and yoga, as well as a pile of magazines and books — and an app that disables internet use on your phone. At Lake Placid Lodge, near New York (lakeplacidlodge.com, £862), the only in-room entertainment is a real fire and views of the lake. Their Check-in to Check-out package includes boating, hiking, and fishing, plus a free cooking lesson.
Don't want to be disturbed by other people's phones, either? The Palm Island resort in the Grenadines (palmislandresortgrenadines.com, single rooms from £280) was
the world's first beach to ban mobile phones.
Next time you're glued to your computer screen, book in, turn off and chill out.