The twenty-first century has created a variety of wellness-related problems. From increased pollution to upticks in violent crime, it seems that we can’t escape the ever-present dangers of modern life. Unfortunately, one of the largest-looming dangers is always with you. It’s probably in your back pocket, or maybe on your desk. I’m speaking, of course, about your cell phone.
Smartphone use has increased at an alarming rate in industrialized countries—particularly over the past ten years. It can easily turn into a behavioral addiction, causing anxiety, panic attacks, and obsessive tendencies. About three-quarters of U.S. adults own a smartphone, and 96% of 18- to 29-year-olds live in a household with at least one smartphone. We use these devices to shop, read the news, find jobs, surf the internet, and communicate.
Unsurprisingly, a number of companies have appeared to address this issue. From apps that track smartphone usage to “WiFi-Free Day Camps,” people are frantically seeking remedies for their self-made addictions. Camp Grounded touts a place where “grown-ups go to unplug,” whereas The Digital Detox wants us to “reevaluate our path, take stock in life, strengthen our relationships, and move forward with a sense of purpose and belongings.”
If you browse the websites of these “Detox Camps,” you’ll inevitably come across an “About” page. This text will often address how the company was founded. This is where my advice comes in: Most Detox Camp founders were inspired by a safari or similar trip. Who would have known spending several days in remote parts of Africa would be enough to get you away from your smartphone?
Going on safari has many benefits, but distancing you from your smartphone is an often-overlooked aspect of the trip. Travelers are encouraged to use phones to take pictures, but they should be locked on airplane mode for the duration of the trip. So, whether you want to see some interesting wildlife or simply take a break from your cell phone, a safari is almost always a great vacation choice.