Planning a mobile phone-free vacation? Bali resort bans smartphones to enforce digital detox

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New Delhi | Published: April 19, 2019 6:19:40 PM

‘Digital detox ruling’ extends to all devices and is an attempt to untether people from obsessively checking their phones.

Social media, Instagram, pool, mobile phone, smartphone, policy, phone ban, travel, holiday, five stars, resort, luxury, relax, Bali, Indonesia, Ayana resort and Spa BaliAyana Resort and Spa might be picturesque but has a strict smartphone policy at one of their pools. (Source: Supplied)

Would explore a hotel pool if you don’t get an option put it on social media? One resort in Bali, Indonesia is encouraging its guests to shun mobile phones and other devices by the pool. It is in a bid to encourage people to absorb their surroundings rather than staring at the screen. The enforced “digital detox ruling” at Ayana Resort in Bali, which extends to all smartphones and digital devices, is an attempt to forcibly untether people from the global addiction of compulsively taking photos, checking the news, updating social media and replying to emails even when on holiday.

Instead, guests are encouraged to read books, swim, or play a game of Jenga, or just “truly relax and be in the moment”, according to a hotel spokesperson.

The phenomenon of being unable to switch off, or be parted from your phone, has even been given a name: nomophobia, now described as the “21st-century disease”. Particularly among young people, social media use has also been linked with depression.

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More than 20 percent of people check their smartphones once per hour during their most recent vacation, a recent survey by American holiday-makers by OnePoll found. Meanwhile, about 14% said they checked it twice per hour. Nearly 8% have said they checked it more than 20 times per hour. In 2017, a Deloitte survey in Britain found that 38% of adults said they thought they were using their smartphone too much.

As a result of this, there has been a surge of interest in so-called digital detox holidays. As now, people look for ways to take a break from their phones, with hotels and travel companies cashing in people’s inability to switch off their devices unless forced.

No-phone policy by Ayana Resort is unlikely to be popular with everyone. 30% of respondents booked holiday destinations on the basis they would make great fodder for social media, another recent survey by Travelzoo found.

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