Disconnect to reconnect: The food/technology metaphor in digital detoxing

Authors

  • Theodora Sutton Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

DOI:

https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i6.7561

Keywords:

digital detox, internet addiction, non-use, digital mindfulness,

Abstract

The idea of “going on a digital detox” arrives as a response to a proliferation of digital technology and a concern that this addictive form of sociality erodes meaningful or authentic connection. This paper explores concerns about our relationship with digital technology through a short ethnography of Camp Grounded: a Californian digital detox retreat and summer camp for adults. At Camp Grounded, digital detoxers conceptualise consumption of technology using a food parallel. While the brief connection or “snack” of a text message might temporarily satisfy, detoxers feel that waiting for a more nutritious face-to-face encounter will ultimately be more emotionally nourishing. This paper interrogates the food/technology metaphor to unpack its analytical limitations and the questions it prompts about the future of our relationship with digital technology.

Author Biography

Theodora Sutton, Oxford Internet Institute, University of Oxford

I'm a DPhil student at the Oxford Internet Institute.

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Published

2017-06-01

How to Cite

Sutton, T. (2017). Disconnect to reconnect: The food/technology metaphor in digital detoxing. First Monday, 22(6). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i6.7561