In the 21st century, it is becoming increasingly common for people to feel the need to get away from the snares of technology. Although intended to simplify our lives, and bring us closer to our friends and family, new digital technologies are doing the exact opposite.
While it is true that there are still countless benefits to be enjoyed from technology use (we’re no Luddites, after all!), it is important to realize their detrimental impacts too. In other words, digital technology is a double-edged sword that can either help us or hinder us depending on how we decide to use them.
Our phones can help us keep in touch for far-away relatives, but also distract us from those across the dinner table. Social media accounts keep up in the know about your high school classmates, but alienate us from those in our own offices and classrooms. They have the unique power to bring us together, but also to isolate.
In order to responsibly use technology, we need to consider the entirety of the situation. Sometimes, this requires a “shock to the system”, so to speak. For some, it is necessary to be cut off from high-tech devices that we have grown reliant on. Only this way can we be made aware of the true relationship we have with them.
Fortunately for us, so-called “black hole resorts” are popping up all over the world. These getaway destinations provide a small sanctuary where guests can enjoy the peace that comes with unplugging.
Black Hole Resorts 101
Black hole resorts strictly bar the use of any digital devices on their premises. These spa-like destinations provide the holiday we all need—a holiday from the stresses of constant digital communication and interaction.
Unlike regular vacation destinations, black hole resorts require you to forfeit your iPhone or Android, and any tablet or laptop computer before entering their property. Sound a bit extreme to you? Well, as crazy as it might sound this craze is catching on, and fast.
Not only do black hole resorts bar the use of personal digital devices, but most are also 100% devoid of electronic entertainment altogether. In most cases, black hole resorts don’t offer room-service telephones, premium satellite TV, on-demand movie packages, or any other lavish digital technologies.
Instead, black hole resorts encourage the rarest kind of R&R these days. The kind that involves zero technology or screen time. We’re talking about the kind of rest that comes with days of solitude, peace and quiet, and quality time spent undistracted in the presence of those you love.
Black Hole Resorts: What’s the Hype About?
The dawn of the so-called “information age” has caused a paradigm shift in many who inhabit the developed world. While our parents may have relished in the time-saving and productivity-maximizing nature of the latest devices, a new generation now seeks to rid themselves of them.
This massive shift in cultural awareness has been brought on by the gradual realization that the truly meaningful is derived from the truly personal. Only in the face-to-face presence of others can we find who we truly are—but embracing the empathy, kindness, and sense of community that others bring us.
Black hole resorts are the few spaces we have left where this kind of attitude is celebrated. And for that reason alone we think that black hole resorts deserve our strongest endorsement. By giving us a guilt-free sabbatical from the incessant drone of our inboxes and newsfeeds, black hole resorts are truly necessary in today’s world.
The Many Benefits of a Digital Detox
If there weren’t countless benefits to taking time apart from your devices, then there would be no need for black hole resorts. But as it happens, there is a long list of reasons why ditching your devices for a short while can improve your health and sense of wellbeing.
To give you a rough idea as to how your life might benefit from a digital hiatus, we put together a short list of the top benefits. It is important to understand, however, that these benefits are in no way exhaustive. In fact, the only way to get a holistic sense of their true potential is to experience a black hole resort yourself.
For the Body
One of the first major benefits you will notice after taking a break from your digital devices is in your sleep quality. On the very first morning after a phone-less night, you should find yourself better rested and more rejuvenated than usual.
The reason for your improved sleep quality is that the bright light produced by our phone screens causes our natural circadian rhythms to be thrown out of whack. When we use our phones at night, we are exposed to massive amounts of synthetic light that causes our minds to believe that it is actually daytime.
In response, our bodies “speed up” rather than shut down for bed. This causes us to stay up later, wake up during the night, and eventually get out of bed feeling wound up and restless. Ditching our phones is clearly a wise choice, and black hole resorts encourage proper sleep hygiene such as this.
Also, black hole resorts emphasize the importance of replacing screen time for “me time”. This is not your usual variety of “me time”, however. No, black hole resorts do not suggest you should flop in front of the TV with a bowl of buttery popcorn. Rather, they suggest taking time out to exercising, meditate, or play sports. The point is to get on your feet and to get moving.
By putting down our devices, we naturally have to occupy our time doing things that don’t involve scrolling mindlessly through our newsfeeds. Instead, we turn to other activities that burn calories, work up sweats, and get us moving and having fun. The normalization of this kind of healthy behavior is one of the key benefits to staying at a black hole resort.
For the Mind
Black hole resorts have many positive benefits for one’s mental health too. Many of these benefits emanate from our inherent need for real, face-to-face human interaction. This fosters a sense of community and belonging that each of us fundamentally needs.
Year after year, more research is published that confirms what many of us have always known: that those without constant access to technology report lower levels of stress, anxiety, and depression. While this seems like common sense to many of us, it is truly staggering that nobody can seem to take time out to detox from their devices.
By fostering an environment that promotes proper mental health practices, black hole resorts allow us to experience what it is like to de-stress in this way.
But getting away from technology does more than just improve our moods. It also improves our minds. Simply by getting rid of our smartphone, we can reverse the so-called “Google effect”. This is a psychological phenomenon marked by cognitive decline and loss of working memory brought about by our reliance on our phones to “remember” information for us.
Clearly, when we put our phones down good things happens to our minds. This is one of the reasons why black hole results are so crucial in our ever-connected world.
For the World
Black hole results are good for our personal health, but they are also good for our environment. By encouraging healthy and sustainable consumption habits, black hole resorts provide a glimmer of hope for those of us who have normalized unsustainable behavior.
For example, it is estimated that our “passive” electronic devices such as phone and tablet chargers and digital alarm clocks use up more energy than we would think. Even though they are small, each of us consumes hundreds of dollars’ worth of electricity per year thanks to these little devices.
However, at black hole resorts these little energy vampires are a thing of the past. Since all such devices are strictly forbidden, they allow guests to get a taste of what life might be like if we all lived more sustainably by changing our energy consumption habits.
The Top Black Hole Resorts
While black hole resorts are still in their infancy, they have definitely caught on over the last few years. This is due to the massive rise in media coverage that these resorts have attracted. Here is a quick summary of some of our favorite black hole resorts around the world.
The Painted Pony Resort (Portal, Arizona)
If you want something close to home, go with The Painted Pony Resort. At the Painted Pony, tranquility is the name of the game. Smack dab in the heat of the Arizona Desert, the Painted Pony offers peace and quiet unlike anywhere else.
With zero light pollution, the night sky illuminates like nothing else. Being so far off the beaten path, the Painted Pony is the epitome of the black hole resort. The landscape is vast, barren, yet far from empty. Here, you can experience the true joy of “togetherness” that unplugging can offer.
Petit St. Vincent Resort (Grenadines)
If something more tropical is what you are after, we suggest trying the Petit St. Vincent resort. Located on a sunny private island in the Caribbean, Petit St. Vincent is the perfect romantic couple’s getaway. There are lush beaches, tropical forests, and endless activities.
And the best part of all? There are no electronics allowed. This means zero internet, social media, or anything other stressors that we take for granted every day. This island retreat is an excellent choice—with boating, windsurfing, yoga, and arts classes hosted around the clock. If you want to digital detox in style, go with Petit St. Vincent.
Soneva Fushi (Maldives)
Located in the middle of the beautiful Maldives, the Soneva Fushi resort is a breathtaking luxury black hole resort. If you have the budget to splurge on a five star getaway, we cannot recommend the Soneva Fushi enough.
This resort is on a beautiful tropical island in the south Indian Ocean. Aside from their private on-site cinema, there is little to no electronics on the resort. There is no internet access, and no cell phone signal either. And best of all, it is family friendly. With a host of family-oriented beachside activities, what is there not to love about the Soneva Fushi?
Are They Right For Me?
In short: yes. Black hole resorts are for those who feel like they can’t help but pull their phones from their pockets at a movie or at the dinner table. They are for those who wake up and check their inbox first thing in the morning. They are for those guilty of glancing at their phone while driving their car.
These are all symptoms of a world that is polluted with information. Although we have become conditioned to accept it, we do not need to live this way. Instead, we can choose to get away and experience life the way it is meant to be lived: in connection with the world around us and those among us.
Although they are just now beginning to catch on, you can expect black hole resorts to surge in popularity over the coming years. With more and more people tuning in to the benefits of unplugging, there is a growing desire to tune out.
What Are You Waiting For?
Black hole resorts are not just a fad. They are the real deal, and they are showing no signs of going away. At these resorts, peace and tranquility is the main attraction. There is little glamor or glitz, and that is exactly the point.
This year, why not truly get away. Choose a black hole resort, and get away from the constant flow of information that our plugged-in world provides us. You have nothing to lose, and a whole new world to discover.