Kill the cell phone, email, commute, TV - if just for a weekend
A couple of Harvard grads came up with a "novel" idea. Instead of creating a new app or the next e-commerce platform, they figured out how to help people tune out.
It's not really novel of course, but retreats are becoming more popular as our lives become ever more hectic. These fellows have created a network of "tiny houses" outside of metropolitan areas (one group of such houses is near my home in the foothills of the Blue Ridge) where people go and chill out away from technology, stare at the stars, roast marshmallows, and connect with each other without the glow of a screen. We used to call this "camping", but a new generation is just turning on to tuning out.
Lord knows people need to tune out. These days work is always there. Bills are always there. Our phones connect us to the world, but they also CONNECT US to the world - all the time. We are not engineered to be this connected.
In the same way that many foods that emerged after the agricultural revolution of 10,000 years ago are in fact not well suited for our wiring as humans, it seems increasingly clear that ubiquitous screens are unhealthy too. We are not constructed to squint at a little computer monitor all day. It's not natural.
There are many great things about cell phones and technology generally. We wouldn't be able to do what we do without it. Most of our readers and viewers reach us via mobile phone. But checking out is important. CONNECTING (in person) with other human beings is important.
And one other thing. We've noticed that once we step away from the screen our time seems to expand. Suddenly there's more space in the day. That's nice.
(From The Washington Post)
“We want Getaway to be the opposite of Silicon Valley,” Davis said. “Silicon Valley sells you more connection and more distraction. We want Getaway to be about disconnection, deep conversation, a real-life recharge.”...
...They cluster the tiny houses in groups of 20 or so on leased woodland, just outside major cities. Each outpost has a long-term lease on private land. Cabins are spaced 200 feet from one another, allowing sufficient privacy. And you can drive right up to the door.
To date, Getaway has 80 tiny houses planted outside Boston, New York and Washington. Los Angeles is next.