Ed board

Should more people do a “digital detox”?


A British survey of 5,000 students found social media detoxes are becoming popular amongst school-aged children, a BBC article reported.

Several British female boarding schools initiated a temporary ban on cellphones in schools to give their students a “digital detox,” according to BBC.

“Prefects at Benenden set up a temporary ban on mobile phones and social media in March, after concerns that younger pupils were spending too much time on their phones in their rooms,” the article stated.

The comments from participants in the article were mostly positive. Some said they felt relieved and others said they were annoyed at first but quickly adapted to the detox.

The Spectator Editorial Board discussed if more people — of any age — should do a digital detox.

“I do them (digital detoxes) quite often,” one member said. “Particularly when I find myself sitting on there (social media) for too long, or I just get bored of it.”

One speaker was confused by the reasoning provided for fearing a digital detox, which is FOMO, or the fear of missing out.

“From a personal stance, on a social media detox … I’m never really too concerned with what I’m missing out on, because that’s kind of the whole reason I’m taking a digital detox,” they said.

Another member agreed digital detoxes are a good idea, but questioned whether the study was effective.

“Wouldn’t most of their friends be girls in this boarding school?” the speaker asked. “So wouldn’t they all be off of social media? So what really were they missing?

The speaker thought in American society — without boarding schools — this may be harder since friends can be more spread out.

Another member thought a digital detox could lead to improvements with face-to-face communication and increase the amount of print newspapers people read.

Another speaker agreed, but thinks there needs to be a balance of social media and real life.

“I don’t think we can totally get rid of social media,” the speaker said. “I still think it’s a valuable resource since so much of our society today is based on social media dependency … I wouldn’t have a job if we did that (got rid of social media), so let’s keep social media, please.”

The editorial board voted 7-0-1, with seven members to voting in favor of digital detoxes and one member choosing to abstain.