If you’re like us, you were probably completely unaware that this was the week we were all supposed to turn off our computers, phones and game machines as part of Digital Detox Week.
The movement is the work of anti-consumerist group Adbusters and kicked off on April 19 (it ends April 25). Adbusters writes that “Whether it is texting, gaming, downloading or emailing, so much of our time is spent in the virtual realm.” Fortunately though, the group writes, “… the off button is easy to find.”
Ryan Van Cleave, a recovery consultant that works with ex-addicts, imparted some warnings about unplugging from the digital world cold turkey, telling the DailyBeast that the idea of Digital Detox Week is “unimplementable” in today’s connected society.
For the current generation, he continued, “… there's no difference between having a conversation over the table at Starbucks or IMing a friend they've never met in person who's a thousand miles away. To them, there's no quality difference between these two forms of social interaction.”
Van Cleave is also no stranger to videogame addiction and claims that upon finally cancelling his World of Warcraft, he considered suicide. A book about his game addiction, entitled Unplugged: My Journey Into the Dark World of Videogame Addiction, is due out this June.
This is the second year that Adbusters has promoted Digital Detox Week. Another of its engagements—Buy Nothing Day—encourages people around the globe to participate “simply by opting not to participate in the annual consumer spectacle.”