Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Taking a screen break at Ireland's first digital REHAB - Unplug in Meath

Taking a screen break at Ireland's first digital REHAB - Unplug in Meath

Our tech addiction is costing us but help is at hand with this rare retreat

Flickr RF
Are we so addicted to technology that we need a retreat?
We've become a nation of technology addicts unable to even go to the loo without our mobiles for fear we might miss something vital.
We check our social media sites first thing in the morning and last thing at night and spend family dinners emailing and texting.
Experts warn this addiction is ruining relationships, wearing us out mentally and costing us our social skills.
But help is at hand as Ireland’s first Digital Detox Retreat opens its doors to wean us off the web.
The Unplug retreat will see digital addicts surgically removed from their devices and taken off-line for almost 48 hours in a bid to change their lives.
Detox methods will include Tibetan gong therapy, dance, orange meditation, laughter yoga and story-telling around the campfire as co-founders William Meara and Chris Flack try to save us from complete digital meltdown.
William, 25, from Dublin, told the Irish Mirror: “We communicate with everyone on social media.
Peaceful: The retreat at Dunderry
“We never put down our smartphones, laptops and tablets.
“We’re constantly emailing, texting, Watsapping and Snapchatting and basically spend every waking hour looking at a screen.
“This digital addiction is having a huge impact on our relationships and ability to function.
“I read last week about a mother who missed her child’s first steps because she was too busy updating Facebook.
“But I firmly believe we can disconnect. This addiction is making us tired, distracted, strained and while we become more connected digitally, we’re becoming more disconnected socially.”
The first retreat starts on Friday in Dunderry Park in Co Meath and will run until Sunday when bootcampers will be well on the road to kicking their addictions.
Tranquil: Nature is close at hand
Let us know your thoughts in our new comments section below
Emer Duffy, Unplug’s health neuroscience expert and teacher, added: “Technology is affecting the way we think, feel and behave.
“The sheer volume of devices we all have results in constant multi-tasking often contributing to mental fatigue.
“The Unplug retreat is a unique opportunity to make friends with your technology with the help of evidence-based Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and the neuroscience of ‘your brain on tech’.”
Clients will get instructions before they arrive about how to gradually power down and the first activity will be blind-folded speed networking, helping to focus on awareness and the senses.
The initial aim is to run a detox every quarter and an inaugural Unplug festival next summer. The programme has been developed to help people move from “Fear of Missing Out” to the “Joy of Missing Out” – and teach you how to be connected in moderation.
Comfort: Bedrooms at the retreat
Co-founder Chris Flack has been practising yoga and meditation for 10 years and teaching for two.
The 40-year-old, from Dundrum in South Dublin, said: “In my fundraising day job, I work with business leaders who are all talking about the need for wellbeing.
“But the big gap is in mental health as it’s so inaccessible – even the word meditation conjures up images of someone kneeling wearing robes. Unplug.ieinstead focuses on contemplation, doing activities we already do in a slightly different way, for example, morning rave experiences, to bring a strong sense of calm.”
William added: “There’s no such thing as a 9-5 work day anymore. We are on 24/7 and everyone expects us to be.
“As meditation guru Jon Kabat-Zinn quotes, we are ‘living in a stone age body in a space age world’. We are moving towards a strange world where intimacy is becoming a luxury.”
Unplug 1.0 runs from Friday until Sunday with launch prices from €270.

No comments:

Post a Comment