The Summer Camp for Adults – Where No Technology is Allowed

Image from Camp Grounded

Image from Camp Grounded

Camp fires, friendship bracelets, sing-a-longs, hikes, s’mores  – these may sound like beautiful memories of your summer camp past, but lo and behold, this experience is being recreated for adults with a twist. Meet Camp Grounded, a place where grownups can be youngsters again, all in a technology-free zone. That means no computers, cell phones, or other gadgetry with a WIFI connection. In the spirit of digital detox – a move to disconnect from technology in order to connect to the world – Camp Grounded offers an oasis from the daily grind of adult life.
The sleep-away camp hosts a variety of activities from yoga and archery to candle making and the obligatory summer game of capture the flag. Summer 2014 registration is already under way, with four-day sessions of unbridled fun that have the potential to bring you to a carefree and joyful place, creating memories of a lifetime.

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7 Steps to Planning Your Next Digital Detox

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Photo by Flickr user Silvia Sala

Digital detox: A period of time during which a person refrains from using electronic devices such as smartphones or computers, regarded as an opportunity to reduce stress or focus on social interaction in the physical world.

Disconnect to connect. Unplug. Digital detox. These terms are all the rage at the moment, representing the act of stepping away from our adored electronics and reconnecting to the world around us. Even unlikely players like communications companies and app developers are getting on board. Here at Goodnet, we highly recommend taking a break – in whatever form works for you – and have broken the process down into seven easy steps for you to put into action. Good luck!

1. GET INSPIRED

Before you begin planning, get excited! A plethora of awesome publications across the web are getting down with the digital detox – from the this infographic guide to this detailed account of one man’s 25-day hiatus from the WWW. YouTube is also a good resource to scour for creative inspiration – check out this great clip for starters.

TIP: Rather than printing out articles you’d like to read later, use an e-reader such as Pocket or Readability to enjoy them when and where it’s convenient for you.

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Photo by Flickr user » Zitona «

2. SET YOUR TIMER

The first step towards a successful digital detox is choosing a feasible length of time – and sticking to it. Try to find the balance between being realistic and challenging yourself – for example, taking a month off email is unlikely to work if you need to hold down a job, while turning your phone off from midnight until 7am on the weekend probably won’t make much of a difference to your life.

TIP: If in doubt, try a weekend. It’s just long enough to really disconnect and unwind, but shouldn’t be too hard to execute.

Photo by Flickr user eflon

Photo by Flickr user eflon

3. IT’S ALL ABOUT BOUNDARIES

Take some time to think about your e-life, and what it will mean to turn it off. Do you plan to cut yourself off from all emails or just work emails? And what about television and social media?

TIP: For your first digital detox, we recommend cutting out anything that involves a glowing screen or the Internet. In other words: computer, iPad and smartphone – out; Kindle – in.

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Photo by Flickr user adactio

4. SCHEDULE SOME QUALITY TIME

One of the best things about taking a digital detox is that it gets your face away from the screen, and in front of the friendly faces of your friends and family. Schedule at least one meal with loved ones (here’s some quick, healthy meal ideas) and let everyone know that it’ll be an unplugged meal. You can even make a game out of it – stack everyone’s cell phones face down on the table. First person to check their phone takes everyone out for ice cream.

TIP: Think old school – pull out your board games from the back of the cupboard and get ready for some fun.

Photo by Flickr user WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)

Photo by Flickr user WanderingtheWorld (www.LostManProject.com)

5. GET OUT

Spending some time outdoors – whether it’s a picnic, a jog or a day at the beach – is a non-negotiable part of your digital detox. Not only does sunshine stimulate the essential nutrient Vitamin D, getting down with nature will make you calmer, happier and more focused. Better still, plan a mini-break and get out of town.

TIP: If you need to research your outdoor adventure, make sure you do it before your detox starts to avoid contaminating your chill out time staring at a screen.

Photo by Flickr user marcp_dmoz

Photo by Flickr user marcp_dmoz

6. READ BETWEEN THE LINES

In his much-quoted 2008 article in The Atlantic, “Is Google Making Us Stupid?”, which he later expanded into a full-length book, American writer Nicholas Carr expounds a theory that the Internet has “chipped away” at our “capacity for concentration and contemplation.” Use your digital detox to read something long and involved – all in one go. It could be a book, a magazine article you haven’t had time to read, or even a short story.

TIP: For best results, get stuck in a good novel. Reading fiction has been found to make you more empathetic.

Photo by Flickr user by Janine

Photo by Flickr user by Janine

7. LEARN FROM THE EXPERIENCE

When your allotted digital detox time is up, take a moment to ponder – rather than running straight to your iPhone to catch up on everything you missed on Facebook. Ask yourself these three simple questions before diving back into the digital world:

1.  What have you learned from the experience?

2.  Having lived without it this long, is there any device/platform you think you can do without permanently?

3.  Would you consider setting a regular time (say, Saturday afternoon to Sunday evening every week) to repeat the experience?

TIP: Write down some notes as you go through the questions so you can refer back for next time.

Photo by Flickr user Walt Stoneburner

Photo by Flickr user Walt Stoneburner

Happiness, Freedom, Sports and the Great Outdoors [VIDEO]

This stunning clip ponders the states of happiness and freedom, linking both of the concepts to sports. The nature filled video is interspersed with beautiful shots of the outdoors and athletes in motion, ending with a simple and powerful command to viewers to just,” go, get out there and enjoy.”

Why Playing is Just as Important as Sleep

Image from Flickr user Tambako the Jaguar

Image from Flickr user Tambako the Jaguar

Play – an activity usually reserved for children, right? Well, not if you ask the National Institute of Play (NIFP). The nonprofit, spearheaded by Dr. Stuart Brown, is dedicated to researching and promoting how vital play is to the lives of animals and people of all ages. If you’re a bit rusty on the rules of recreation, the NIFP outlines the patterns of play which range from storytelling to rough housing with friends.

Dr. Brown, who elaborates on his research in this TED talk, discovered the importance of play when studying young males who had committed violent crimes. He noted that a common factor among the men was a lack of recreation in their developing years. Combining that with research on playful behaviors in the animal kingdom, the NIFP views play as a hardwired need, similar to that of sleep, that is required for healthy emotional development, socialization, and physical movement.

To spread this playful message, the NIFP takes the essence of fun and games to
schools and companies, instructing them how to better integrate play into their environments – resulting in more creative and happier students and employees.

7 Minutes of Pure Imagination – on a Bike

When you close your eyes and let your imagination run free, what do you see? For pro street bike rider Danny MacAskill, it’s a playground of colored blocks, dice and playing cards – all set up as his own giant skate rink. Sit back and let your eyes enjoy.

The World’s Most Inspiring Bike Rider

Danny MacAskill has mad bike skills – and a modest personality and attitude to match. After shooting to worldwide fame as a professional street trials rider with this jaw-dropping 2009 clip, the Scotsman went on to push the limits with a series of videos. Each features inspiring stunts, beautiful views, and toe-tapping soundtracks.
Given the diffulty of some of these tricks, we’re just glad he wears a helmet!