Once upon a time a café was somewhere you would go enjoy the company of others, or simply have some time to yourself to enjoy a coffee and the moment. Today in a world obsessed with digital technology those simple pleasure we once took for granted are being promoted as an enhancement to the café experience: a Digital Detox no less.
Digital Detox comes from All Right?, a Healthy Christchurch initiative led by the Canterbury District Health Board and the Mental Health Foundation of New Zealand,
All Right? is giving away free personal Digital Detox boxes at New Zealand’s first city-wide Digital Detox, taking place in Canterbury on 2 October. Participants will be encouraged to ditch their devices between 10am and 2pm on the day.
All Right? says it has also provided larger Digital Detox boxes to city cafes “so people can enjoy each other’s company or simply savour the moment.” It has provided no information on structure of functions of its Digital Detox boxes.
Sue Turner, All Right? manager, says Digital Detox boxes encourage flowing conversations, a strange sense of calmness, and lead to unexpected free time. “All you need to do is tuck your phone inside and enjoy the moment,” she says.
You can pick up your own personal Digital Detox box from one of over 20 Christchurch cafes, or order one online.
Somewhat ironically those registering are offered an — entirely digital — “free registration pack”. There’s an app to “Find the tech-balance that works for you with these simple tips and tricks. Making a few small changes can really boost our free time, mood and connectedness.” There are “free, eye-catching wallpapers [for] your phone's lock screen as a handy reminder to look around and get some digital downtime.” And “Fun Facebook banners.”