It’s no secret that smartphones have become a near-constant companion to the majority of American adults. One consumer habits study showed that we use our phones pretty much everywhere – including in church, while driving, in the shower, and even during personal interactions. This can’t be good for safety or conversation.
The new trend of “phone detoxing” aims to curb smartphone use and make people more aware of the amount of time they spend texting, surfing, or playing games. Features such as Screen Time for iPhone provide reports detailing exactly what you’ve been doing on your device (and for how long) and let you set limits. For Android users, the Digital Wellbeing app provides similar tracking and limiting capabilities.
Travelers who are willing to set their devices down may find themselves able to take advantage of phone-free zones in hotels and restaurants. If you agree to put away your phone or tablet, you can enjoy perks such as discounts, special menu items, or bonus amenities. At the risk of losing Instagram or Facebook exposure, certain locations of Wyndham Hotels provide locking phone cases to encourage guests to “reconnect.” Phone-free participants also may enter special contests to win miles or other awards. Celebrated Hearth restaurant in New York offers guests a decorative box at each table where diners can voluntarily stash their phones during the meal.
It doesn’t seem that long ago that hotel internet access was a luxury. Now, a number of exotic resorts from Jamaica to Maui are getting attention for their total lack of wi-fi. Their wireless status forces guests to cut the electronic cord and enjoy tropical vacation face-to-face time with their travel companions.