Does the fear of missing out on cell phone contact (FoMO) make you break out in a sweat? Or do you constantly imagine feeling your cell phone vibrate (also known as vibration syndrome)? According to Yolandi North (Rapport Beleef, 6 March 2016), you need a digital detox (DD), when all the tweets, posts, likes and online conversation are making you head for digital burnout.

Kovert, an international company that focuses on research on technology and how it changes one’s conduct and posture, took 35 executive directors on a break-away to a Maroccan desert in June 2015. The group was completely cut off from technology. Neuro scientists monitored their conduct constantly. After three days, the following changes became obvious:


  • Better posture: All participants were looking up and keeping their heads in line with their spines – no longer bent forward.
  • Quality friendships: They were approachable and more inclined to make conversation.
  • More interesting conversations: The lack of being able to quickly google something made conversations last longer.
  • Improved memory: They were inclined to remember more details, as their attention was more focused during conversations.
  • More restful sleep: Although the group slept less, they felt more rested. This is because they had to do without the blue cell phone screens, which inhibit the production of melatonine (that makes you sleep better).
  • New perspective: When people haven’t been online for some time, they are inclined to reflect more on important aspects of their lives and to make important decisions concerning relationships, health and quality of life. The group felt that the digital detox was a life-changing opportunity, and that they would make a habit of it in future.