Unplug and reconnect with nature
As many of us become addicted to our smart phones, tablets, wristbands and smart watches, laptops and anything else with a screen, it’s that much more important to remember to take time away from all things digital: we call it digital detox. That’s why it’s so great to visit Mountain Trek because we’re immersed in the most beautiful natural environment in North America – one in which it’s impossible to get cell coverage for large parts of the day because we’re hiking in mountain landscapes.
Does Mountain Trek have WiFi?
While there is WiFi in the Mountain Trek lodge, it is not available from 10pm to 6am daily and we ask guests not use their smart phones and devices in the common areas. This is because our aim is to lower the stress hormone Cortisol in your body so you can reclaim the health benefits of a raised metabolism. (We do not have a television, radio, nor any news media on site for this reason as well.) In other words, we want your experience to be all about you and your own health and we don’t want a lot of external stimuli pulling you away from your goals.
If you can’t help but check your smart phone immediately after waking up and then continually throughout the day every few minutes, you’re not alone. Our bodies actually crave the results of shared information via our screened devices – we’re hard-wired for it! This is why: hundreds of thousands of years ago when the ancestors of homosapiens walked the earth they developed physical reactions to information. When knowledge was shared (or the promise of knowledge) that could make life easier and ensure survival, their brains were flooded with dopamine, the feel-good hormone.
Why do we crave digital engagement?
The same is true today. Research shows that our prehistoric brains still flood us with dopamine when our smart phones “ping” to let us know there’s potential knowledge or survival tools waiting for us to discover. Each tweet, text or email is a little gift-wrapped packet that might make a difference to our survival. At the same time our Limbic brains are reassured that we’re socially connected. It’s the perfect formula resulting in us feeling “good” every time we receive a notification through our digital device.
The problem with this scenario is that our brain is actually being fooled: very few of us receive survival tools via our Twitter or Facebook feeds and, overall, our social media interaction is shallow. This leads to “solitarism” – a buzzword you’ll be hearing a lot more of in the coming years as people suffer loneliness despite being “connected” via multiple social media streams.
What’s important about digital detox?
According to a recent Ipsos poll, 40% of adults feel the need to ‘disconnect” and 71% of respondents claim they’re spending less time connecting with people face-to-face due to gadgetry. Aside from the negative social ramifications, this digital dependence also comes with health costs: digital screens can contribute to visual fatigue, headaches, and strain of the body from being stationary for so long. Also the intense white-blue back light of our screens raise our “wake-up” and stress hormone Cortisol, often overriding our sleep inducing hormone Melatonin. Other studies have found that technology contributes to higher stress, strains on relationships and family and attention disorders.
So remember, while you have the ability to check your email and Facebook feed between 6am & 10pm at Mountain Trek, we encourage you to partake in some digital detox and instead look at the beautiful natural scenery and enjoy conversations with your fellow guests.