The digital detox experiment

The Krummenacher family took up the challenge of going seven days without using a smartphone, tablet or laptop. They explain what happened during the detox week.

The four members of the Krummenacher family: Hans (47), Lorena (13), Chiara (16) and Bettina (43) (from left to right)

The week in review

We also followed the trials and tribulations of the Krummenacher family during their detox week on our blog:

The expectations of the family

The parents are relaxed and looking forward to the experiment, but the daughters, Chiara and Lorena, are still finding it hard to imagine how they will cope. Not having access to Facebook or Snapchat or being able to message their friends is an alien concept to the girls, who are 13 and 16. "We want to show the children that life can go on without a smartphone or laptop", said Hans Elmer, adding that people coped fine before these devices were invented. Bettina Krummenacher agrees: "Going without your mobile isn't the end of the world." The parents hope that the experiment will enhance their quality of life and give them more time to do things together. Chiara and Lorena don't believe that the experiment will change anything. Who will be right in the end?

Handing over the smartphones etc.

Now it's for real. The Krummenacher family collect everyone's smartphones together. Radios, laptops and TV cables are being locked away too. The rules are clear: the box stays locked for a week. The Krummenachers can no longer access their digital devices. It feels weird. And before the weekend, of all times. "What do we do now, then?" asks Chiara, and the only answer she gets is a baffled shrug of shoulders.

A weekend without electronic devices

The Krummenacher family spent a whole weekend without smartphones, tablets and TV. According to Bettina Krummenacher, it was a varied and interesting time. Here she tells us about how it went:

Digital Detox What did you do at the weekend?
"We went out for a bike ride, played table tennis and took a trip to the lake on Saturday evening. It was a very active weekend. It had been quite a long time since we went out like that as a family."

Were these days different to how you would usually spend your weekend?
"Totally! We talked more and were less distracted, which I really enjoyed."

Looking back at that weekend, what do you take away from the experience?
"It was much more relaxed. Without our smartphones, we definitely had more time for each other and paid better attention. The device-free weekend was really nice."

Digital detox week is over

Today, the Krummenachers get their smartphones, laptops and cable TV back. Lorena doesn't waste a second and reaches for her device. "My mobile battery is dead!" she says with alarm, and rushes off. Daughter Chiara is also relieved that the experiment is over. "At the start of the week, I was really angry, but we survived," says Chiara. Their father Hans would actually like to repeat the detox week. "So, shall we do it again the week after next?" he asks. Rather than an answer, he gets only horrified looks – his daughters are not at all impressed by the idea. Finally, the Krummenacher family receive a Globetrotter voucher worth CHF 3,500 for an active weekend.


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