Trends

Unplugged

For most of us, from the second we wake up to the moment before we go to sleep, we’re looking at a phone, laptop or tablet screen. And because of all this thumb-scrolling, we’re starting to miss out on genuinely experiencing things, and limiting our human interaction and first-hand experience. Not to mention, it’s bad for our health. So, it’s time to make some alterations to our screen habits. It’s time to get Unplugged.

Luckily, some brands agree that being unplugged is better. The Hotel Bellora, in Sweden, challenges guests who stay in “The Check Out Suite” to stay off social media during their stay. A smart lamp uses Wi-Fi to measure how often guests access Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, Twitter or Snapchat, and every minute spent on social media costs 20 Swedish Krona, or $2.18 USD. If a guest uses social media for 30 minutes or more, the room’s rate is 2,400 Swedish Krona, roughly $262 USD; but if you can resist the urge to log on, your stay is free.

Another way for brands to urge consumers to unplug is to show them they’re unplugging too. Philadelphia-based coffee company La Colombe does not provide Wi-Fi for its customers in their shops. With locations in Philadelphia, New York, Chicago, California, Washington, D.C. and Boston, La Colombe believe in fostering in-person interactions and conversations among customers.

While this may frustrate some avid coffee shop junkies, it’s not a bad idea. Spending your time focusing on the present, whether you’re alone or with another person, is better than spending it drawn to a screen. Because La Colombe doesn’t offer Wi-Fi, it shows a promise that both the consumer and the employees of the brand are in it together. And even if you’re not ordering a second drink while you’re getting work done, some people believe that customers are more likely to frequent more “social” coffee shops.

When you take a step back and recognize that staying off your screen, even if it’s for a short time at a coffee shop or in a hotel room, can make a difference in your day-to-day life—and improve your health—then maybe, at least for a little while, unplugging really is the way to go.

Trends inspired by trendwatching.com/premium