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It was like, oh my god, I can be so much more productive if I actually let my brain have a little downtime. When I get up in the morning I’m very sharp now. I can do things much faster. I’m much more focused. I feel much fresher. I feel like I used to feel before the Internet was popular.

-Kord Campbell, who recently participated in a digital detox hosted by Camp Grounded. We’ve collected stories from people who regularly unplug from their devices.

Here are the lessons they’re learning.

What (if anything) do you miss the most about life before the digital age?

"Face to face conversations. Children playing outside." -Richard Saling

"I miss actual phone conversations. People only want to Facebook and text! No one wants to have phone conversations anyone it seems.” -Angel Spikes

"QUIET movie theatre experiences….and yes…vinyl records (which I still collect)." -Greg Hale

"Seclusion" -Brian Tromburg

Wonder. Before the Internet you would wonder about everything. Now you can just look it up. -Matthew Green

"The happy ignorance of not knowing how genuinely crazy some of my friends and family are." -Todd Wilson

More of what our readers miss from before the digital age

I personally started unplugging one day a week, I’ve done it now for almost 3 years with my family, and it’s changed my life.

Tiffany Shlain, digital filmmaker and founder of the Webby Awards. 

When is the best time to unplug? Here, some options.

Perhaps because I wasn’t always getting updates on events happening in faraway places, I focused on the world around me, especially nearby Vanderbilt Avenue, which turns out to be quite a place, especially for food. Late one night, I entered a restaurant called Cornelius, lured by large-print signs in the window advertising meat. Whiskey. Oysters. I could not resist.

Baratunde Thurston on the happenings of the first week of his digital detox

Baratunde Thurston unplugged from his digital life for 25 days and is sharing his experience. “The greatest gift I gave myself was a restored appreciation for disengagement, silence, and emptiness. I don’t need to fill every time slot with an appointment, and I don’t need to fill every mental opening with stimulus…”

To help you embark on your own digital detox, we’re putting together a guide to unplugging. This will be something you can print out and take with you. To do this, we’re soliciting pieces of advice from our readers on the best ways to unplug. Got some thoughts? Submit them here, or tweet them at @FastCompany with the hashtag #unplug

NeverLate is an iPhone app that allows your calendar to cross reference the traffic report. So rather than merely warning you that a meeting is in 10 minutes, it can dynamically ping you, right when you should leave for that meeting, given unforeseen road construction, accidents, or just one of those backups where everyone is simply hitting their brakes too much. Meanwhile, you can focus entirely on getting ready, rather than digging through traffic reports.
“After you’ve used the app for about a week, NeverLate will learn where your home and work are and when you’re normally there.”
More info

NeverLate is an iPhone app that allows your calendar to cross reference the traffic report. So rather than merely warning you that a meeting is in 10 minutes, it can dynamically ping you, right when you should leave for that meeting, given unforeseen road construction, accidents, or just one of those backups where everyone is simply hitting their brakes too much. Meanwhile, you can focus entirely on getting ready, rather than digging through traffic reports.

“After you’ve used the app for about a week, NeverLate will learn where your home and work are and when you’re normally there.”

More info

Here are some excerpts from the April issue cover story"Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Ben Stiller, And The Rebels Saving Hollywood"
Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the music business, a cadre of digital pioneers is rebooting the entertainment industry.

"These pioneers seem to have learned from the mistakes of the music and newspaper businesses, which have been decimated by technological change. Rather than be reactionary and afraid, the New Hollywood crowd is proactive and creative. They’re rethinking their business and adopting some of the tech world’s culture, attitudes, and practices.  



"While its financial bets are iffy, there’s no question that Hollywood culture is, in fact, changing—and fast. It’s something that’s forced on the industry as the line between digital and traditional content blurs more and more. When you combine web series such as H+, an apocalyptic sci-fi tale produced by X-Men director Bryan Singer; programming likeHouse of Cards and Battleground from Netflix and Hulu, respectively; and all the professional programming on YouTube’s Original Channels, you get a redefinition of what Hollywood content can look like and how it’s made.”

Here is the full story.
And here are a few more stories from our Digital Hollywood series:
The Secret (Tech) Life of Ben Stiller
The Innovators of Hollywood

Here are some excerpts from the April issue cover story"Sarah Silverman, Michael Cera, Ben Stiller, And The Rebels Saving Hollywood"

Determined not to repeat the mistakes of the music business, a cadre of digital pioneers is rebooting the entertainment industry.

"These pioneers seem to have learned from the mistakes of the music and newspaper businesses, which have been decimated by technological change. Rather than be reactionary and afraid, the New Hollywood crowd is proactive and creative. They’re rethinking their business and adopting some of the tech world’s culture, attitudes, and practices.  


"While its financial bets are iffy, there’s no question that Hollywood culture is, in fact, changing—and fast. It’s something that’s forced on the industry as the line between digital and traditional content blurs more and more. When you combine web series such as H+, an apocalyptic sci-fi tale produced by X-Men director Bryan Singer; programming likeHouse of Cards and Battleground from Netflix and Hulu, respectively; and all the professional programming on YouTube’s Original Channels, you get a redefinition of what Hollywood content can look like and how it’s made.”

Here is the full story.

And here are a few more stories from our Digital Hollywood series:



"Our vision is to weave the Guardian into the fabric of the Internet, to become ‘of’ the Web rather than ‘on’ the Web.”

By embracing a “digital first” approach The Guardian has seen  readership on its website shoot up by over 40% year over the past two  years. Its latest feature, the Twitter-scaling search bot   @GuardianTagBot should only help. “It has fun and charm, but its also  fantastically useful and structurally sound,” Janine Gibson, who leads  the papers’ digital operations in the U.S., tells us.

There are some good takeaways here for all print publications: How To Train Your Newspaper To Survive The Digital Age

"Our vision is to weave the Guardian into the fabric of the Internet, to become ‘of’ the Web rather than ‘on’ the Web.”

By embracing a “digital first” approach The Guardian has seen readership on its website shoot up by over 40% year over the past two years. Its latest feature, the Twitter-scaling search bot @GuardianTagBot should only help. “It has fun and charm, but its also fantastically useful and structurally sound,” Janine Gibson, who leads the papers’ digital operations in the U.S., tells us.

There are some good takeaways here for all print publications: How To Train Your Newspaper To Survive The Digital Age