Photograph of smartphone on a tree stump
Image by Jonas Geerkens

The spring weather is beckons us outdoors—beyond the tether of Wi-Fi, Netflix, and the internet. Are you among the Canadians who, according to the recent trends report published by the Brookfield Institute, are contemplating a digital detox?

According to the Brookfield report, “nearly 100% of Canadians under the age of 45 use the internet on a daily basis. And, according to Cal Newport, author of Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World, an average internet user spends two hours a day on social media. We also know that too much digital activity might impact mental health. This has given some Canadians the impetus to experiment with unplugging from technology, at least some of the time.

Finding the cost of digital connectedness too high, Canadians are making deliberate decisions to unplug from technology to achieve a healthier life balance.

—Brookfield Institute

If you’re wondering whether unplugging is for you, these resources can provide you with a rationale for putting screens in their place. And yes, some of these resources, ironically, require you to use digital technology to access them, so we’ve included some good old-fashioned books, if you’d prefer to keep things analogue.


Digital detox resources

  • The Joy of Missing Out: Finding Balance in a Wired World by Christina Crook
  • Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World by Cal Newport


What will you do instead?

If you’ve unplugged for at least part of the time, what will you do with those extra hours? You likely don’t need ideas for how to fill your found time, but if you’re curious about how others are filling theirs, here are a few trends to consider:

Once you’ve put technology in its place, and when you decide it’s time to plug back in, consider using your digital time intentionally. Personal and professional development are always a good choice.