Helping People Disconnect
Unplug your computer. Turn off your phone. With recent studies showing that over 62% of Americans are using social media, spending over 7 hours a month on Facebook alone, it’s easier said than done, right? Levi Felix, Co-Founder of The Digital Detox, started a company in 2011 along with his girlfriend, Brooke Dean, which caters to helping people disconnect by giving peace of mind and reassurance.
The Digital Detox is a technology free retreat (yes that is all technology) which takes place in Northern California. The retreat is geared towards “personal wellness” and “serenity”, where each attendee gives up their technology and disconnects for four days. “We take away the technology, but we give people freedom and space,” said Felix when asked about the difference between the retreats and tech rehabs, “it’s like a summer camp for adults”.
Summer Camp for Adults
The idea for The Digital Detox movement started after Felix fell ill, reasoning being his demanding schedule working in Los Angeles 60-70 hours a week, consistently stressed and connected to his technology. After recovering, he and his girlfriend decided to leave their jobs and travel. During their excursions, they came across a secluded island in Cambodia (only 9 other residents) where they settled and ran a guesthouse for 6 months. “There are people who have no money and enjoy their lives and their families without technology” stated Felix. He and his girlfriend were able to interact with the guests and the natives on the island and saw how enjoyable, healthy, and relaxing disconnecting could be. “ I’ve seen people change in the few days of being on the island… their skin changes, their eyes open up”. He engaged in meditation and yoga while travelling and decided to bring his experience to other people through The Digital Detox. They now hold monthly retreats in Northern California, where people can experience the same serenity and relaxation they did.
At these retreats, people agree to live completely tech free for four days, with no schedules, obligations, or expectations. While there, residents enjoy fresh juice, homemade chai tea, and organic food choices along with yoga, meditation, art and writing workshops. The groups during the retreats remain small with only about 10-14 people in order to “maximize the benefit of each attendee”. Even the more skeptic people get a positive experience from the retreats. When spouses “drag” their husbands or their wives to these retreats they end up getting a positive experience as well. “When people come and say ‘my wife/girlfriend made me come’, they usually end up leaving saying ‘wow, this was something that I really needed for myself’…life still goes on, the world continues”.
The Digital Detox is hosting a Cambodian retreat on April 22th-27th on the original island that inspired the creation of the monthly retreats in California. The island is completely solar powered and the retreat will last for six days with only 12 spots available. Interested parties should visit www.thedigitaldetox.org.