Focus & Digital Balance

Blogging about Digital Detox, unplugging and healthy lifestyle in our hyperconnected world

Digital Detox Getaways

There are reasons to take a digital detox holidays, for instance If your first words when checking into a hotel are ‘Can you tell me the Wi-Fi password, please?’ or you cannot stop watching your screen then it is time to unplug! Without our phones we’re also forced to spend time with ourselves and loved ones, and holidays are a good opportunity to start on. Plus, banishing technology while being outside of the daily grind opens a window of opportunity for your brain to adopt new habits and rework your relationship with your gadgets.

Your family will thank you and you will have health benefits such as decrease anxiety, reduce stress or to have better sleep.

A tech-vacation could good for your kids, too. Research from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine showed the more time young adults spent on social media, the more likely they are to be depressed.

There are some hotels which offers digital retreats, here you will find some of them:

Hotel Sancti Petri Spa Resort Barceló (Chiclana, Cádiz) Guest leaves at reception any digital device and undergoes a detox program.

Vincci Selección Estrella de Mar (Marbella) y Vincci Selección Rumaykiyya en Sierra Nevada (Granada)

The James New York – NoMad Offers Guests a Discount to Ditch Their Tech. The hotel has its Digital Detox package, a promotion designed to give guests a much-needed break from technology. As Travel Pulse reports, under the terms of the package, guests agree to yield their technological devices upon check-in—phones, tablets, laptops, etc. At that point, guests are checked into a technology-free guest room, one with no phone, alarm clock or TV. In other words—a true break from technology. In exchange for this technology fast, the hotel discounts the bill by 10 percent for every night guests can manage without their devices.

Also, there restaurants which give some discounts to diners who ditch their devices at the door. At Sushi Lounge in Hoboken, New Jersey, management decided to start a “Reconnect Tuesday” offering a 20% off discount to those who put their phone in a box at the table and don’t pick it up until the check comes. Similarly, the staff at Lebro’s, an Italian restaurant near Buffalo in Getzville, New York, give 10% off every Sunday to people who put their phones in the bread basket a waiter or waitress covers with a napkin until the end of the meal.

Smartphones won’t make your kids dumb. We think.

iphone _ offtime _ digital detox _ unplug _ just enough

Like many parents, Sandy is concerned about how much time her 18-month-old spends in front of screens. Weighing up the available evidence, Olivia Solon explains that she might be worrying too much.

Jessica’s tiny fingers dart around the iPad, swiping through photos to get to a particularly entertaining video: a 12-second clip of her dancing clumsily to Beyoncé’s Single Ladies. The 18-month-old taps “play” and emits a squeal of delight.

After watching the video twice, she navigates back to the home screen and opens up the YouTube app to watch an episode of the colourful animation Billy Bam Bam. Halfway through, she moves onto a Yo Gabba Gabba! game, which involves anthropomorphised fruits making their way into a character’s belly.

When Jessica’s mum, Sandy, tries to take away the iPad, there’s a tantrum that threatens to go nuclear: wobbly lip, tears, hands balled into fists and a high-pitched wail. “She does this a lot,” says Sandy. “She seems to prefer the iPad to everything else. Sometimes it’s the only thing that will keep her quiet,” she adds, frantically waving a pink fluffy unicorn in an attempt to appease her daughter.

Like many parents, she’s worried about her child’s obsession with screens. She wants to know which activities are best, and how much time spent on screens is too much.

It’s six years since the launch of the iPad and, with it, the rebirth of tablet computers. The academic research simply hasn’t been able to catch up, which means it’s hard to know the long-term impact on young brains of being exposed to tablets and smartphones.

The concern among some experts is that these devices, if used in particular ways, could be changing children’s brains for the worse – potentially affecting their attention, motor control, language skills and eyesight, especially in under-fives, for whom so much brain development is taking place.

Technology companies and app developers are throwing their marketing prowess at the problem, slapping words like “educational” and “e-learning” on their products, often without any scientific basis. So what are parents to do? Continue reading

Shared Offtimes – A Smart Way to Invite Your Friends to Put Their Smartphone Away

201605 _ OT _ Offtime _ Invite people to digital detox and unplug

Looking for a smart solution to free your surrounding from being clued to their screens? You found it! You can now invite your partner, friends, colleagues and kids to a shared Offtime. Check out our latest release that allows you to invite other people to your Offtime (Version 3.0+ on Android, Version 2.0+ on iOS). The ones who have Offtime already installed get a direct push notification directly to their screen that they just have to accept in order to go into an Offtime with you, everybody else gets a charmant email that you would like to give them their attention with a link to download the app and accept the invite. At the end of the shared Offtime an overview is shown with who stayed for how long. You’ll be surprised about the magic effect this has!

Enjoy your shared Offtimes!

// iOS
// Android


Beyond Digital Detox and Singularity – How to stay Human in the Digital?

How to be Human in the Digital - Postdigital Posttech PositiveComputing - DigitalDetox - Anlaog

How about designing our environment and technology as we wish and need? We have the honor to give a little keynote at the CeBit next week Wednesday, 16.03.2016. For this I condensed our ideas and thoughts a bit more, here is an exclusive preview. Please let us know when your at the CeBit too, so that we can catch-up (we still have some free entrance, let us know if you need any – first come, first server).

Beyond Digital Detox and Singularity – How to stay Human in the Digital?

Continue reading


Solitude Focus Sharing Unplug Comic

We’re listing and looking for ‪#‎Offline‬ places – you know: places which are analog and where there is really no or very limited network connection, internet or are technology-free zones – in Berlin, Germany, EU or the US. Permanent and temporary, existing because of technical gaps or social norms, on the countryside or in the city. Do you know any? If so, please drop us a line via or @getofftime.

Some of the places we know already: Continue reading

We have a winner!

Through August and September we asked people what’s important for them when it comes to taking time off from the digital. We wanted to get to know people who unplug and do Digital Detox, take OFFTIME and are in control of their connectivity. What’s their story?

Many of you wrote us and took part in the OFFTIME Stories contest. And now, after 2 weeks of intense voting, we have a winner-story in the community voting:

Congrats, Johannes! “Im Digitalen Wahn nicht Versinken” is the winning story of our community voting!

Our high ranked jury selected five more stories on its own and ranked them as follows:

  1.  “Marokko” by Benjamin
  2. “Mitten drin und doch ganz weit weg” by Karl-Heinz
  3. “Give Me Tea or Give me Death” by Maheen
    “6293 Minutes and Twinkies – Time To Disconnect” by Mikaela
    “Das Leben in vollen Zügen genießen” by Stephanie

Thank you to everyone who participated! We’ll get in touch with the winners in the coming days.

If you haven’t done so already, get the OFFTIME app for Android or iOS now. If you haven’t participated yet and think, you have your own story to tell, please write it down and send it to us!


Internetsucht als eigenständiges Störungsbild?

Die meisten Personen verbinden mit dem Internet Spaß und viele Vorteile: Herumsurfen, online einkaufen, in sozialen Netzwerken posten…. Bei extremer Nutzung kann das Internet aber gefährlich werden: Eine Internetsucht kann sich entwickeln. In der neusten Version des geläufigen Katalogs für psychische Störungen, dem DSM (“Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders”), wurde die Störung bisher zwar nicht als eigenes Störungsbild aufgenommen – hierzu  reichte der Forschungsstand anscheinend noch nicht aus. Es gibt jedoch einige Forscher, die hierzu raten (Block, 2008). Dabei schlagen die Forscher folgende vier Kriterien der Internetsucht vor:

  1. Exzessive Nutzung, assoziiert mit einem Gefühl des Zeitverlusts und der Vernachlässigung von Grundbedürfnissen;
  2.  sozialer Rückzug, verbunden mit Gefühlen von Ärger, Spannung und/oder Depression, wenn der Computer nicht verfügbar ist;
  3. Toleranzentwicklung, mit dem Bedürfnis nach ständig besserer Computerausstattung, besserer Software und mehr Nutzung;
  4. negative Rückwirkungen, mit Streitigkeiten, Lügen, geringer Leistung, sozialer Isolation und Müdigkeit.

Du möchtest sehen, wie stark die Kriterien der Internetsucht bei Dir ausgeprägt sind? Hier findest du einen frei verfügbaren Online-Test (der natürlich keine medizinische Diagnose ersetzen kann!):

digital addiction

Insbesondere in Süd Korea und China ist Internetsucht ein wichtiges Thema. In Süd Korea besorgt vor allem die Tatsache, dass Jugendliche wegen zu starker Computernutzung vermehrt die Schule abbrechen (müssen). In China sprach der Direktor eines medizinischen Instituts von 13,7% der Jugendlichen, die bestehende Kriterien der Internetsucht erfüllen würden – das sind mehr als 10 Millionen Jugendliche! In westlichen Ländern gibt es bisher keine solch erschreckenden Zahlen – was jedoch auch an der sehr viel geringeren Verbreitung der möglichen Diagnose liegt. Internetsucht könnte hier sehr viel häufiger unter andere Diagnosen fallen, wie z.B. die Depression. Ob als eigenständiges Störungsbild oder nicht – die Sensibilisierung für die Gefahren und das Vorbeugen von möglichen Folgeproblemen einer ständigen Vernetzung können in jedem Fall empfohlen werden!

*Quelle: “Issues for DSM-V: Internet Addiction” (The American Journal of Psychiatry, 03/2008)

The OFFTIME-Story Contest and its Jury 6/6

Für den OFFTIME-Story Wettbewerb konnten wir Jurymitglieder aus den Bereichen Medizin, Kunst, Kultur & Gesellschaft gewinnen. Auf die eine oder andere Weise setzen sich die einzelnen Personen beruflich mit den Themen Vernetzung bzw. Entnetzung auseinander. Nach und nach haben wir hier jedes Jurymitglied und seine/ihre OFFTIME-Story vorgestellt. Einer fehlt noch: (find the English version below)

Levi Felix

Levi Felix

Levi Felix ist Gründer von Digital Detox und dem Camp Grounded in den USA. Sein Input ist dort so gefragt, dass wir uns haben vertrösten lassen. Die OFFTIME-Story von Lexi Felix wird in den nächsten Tage nachgereicht. Sein aktueller Fokus ist das nächste Camp Ende August und das organisiert er besser Offline. Seine Emails checkt er zumindest nicht regelmäßig. Einen Vorgeschmack auf das Camp gibt es im Video (siehe unten) und hier noch Hinweis: Der Gewinner des OFFTIME-Story Wettbewerbs kann u.a. ein Camp-Grounded Ticket gewinnen.

Mehr Inspiration! In den vergangenen Tagen haben wir hier die OFFTIME-Stories von Autor André Wilkens (“Analog ist das neue Bio”) Coach Jessica Bonetta (Cape Balance), Musiker Noah Veraguth (Pegasus), Journalist Christoph Koch (“Ich bin dann mal Offline”) sowie Psychotherapeut Dr. Bert te Wildt (“Digital Junkies”) vorgestellt.

 Sende uns Deine eigene Story und gewinne:



For our OFFTIME-Story Contest we could engage with jury members from science/medicine, art and culture. In one way or the other, on a professional level they all deal with the subject of hyperconnectivity. Day after day we introduced one of the six jurymembers with his/her OFFTIME-story. Only one is left:

Levi Felix, founder of Digital Detox and Camp Grounded in the US. Currently Levi and his team are extraordinary busy preparing the next camp in late August. Acknowledging this we accept the delay of his OFFTIME-story. In the meantime one could get impressions on  the camp, see the video above and keep in mind: You can win a Camp Grounded ticket.

Need more inspiration? In the past days we shared the OFFTIME-stories of author André Wilkens (“Analog is the new organic”), coach Jessica Bonetta (Cape Balance), musician Noah Veraguth (Pegasus), journalist Christoph Koch (“I am offline for now”) as well as psychotherapist and author Dr. Bert te Wildt (“Digital Junkies”).

Submit your own OFFTIME-Story and win: