Offline is the new luxury (16)

Time spent on your smartphone: how could you pass it more wisely? And what exactly does it do for you? Each Friday, Irene, who together with Astrid is the founder of Flow, writes about this particular issue.

So, with just two days to go to Christmas, I’ve put something new on my Christmas wish list: a Phone Bed Charging Station. You can buy it from the website of sleep guru Arianna Huffington. For those of you who don’t know who she is, Arianna co-founded The Huffington Post, is a bestselling author and has now launched a new initiative: Thrive Global. We featured an interview with Arianna in issue 11 of Flow International (an excerpt of which you can read here) in which she talked about her life as a hardworking, dedicated career woman and how one day, she had a real wake-up call. She was so exhausted that she passed out and hit her head as she collapsed. She woke up in a pool of blood, which made her take stock and think about exactly what it was that she was doing. Since the event, she has turned her life around. She meditates, works less hard and—most importantly—sleeps more. And she has also put a stop to her busy life as president and editor-in-chief of The Huffington Post Media Group to start something new: Its objective is to put an end to stress and burnout by making people aware of what they are doing. Arianna believes that if we spend less time working and more time sleeping, we naturally become more creative.

It’s a nice plan, but what’s even nicer are her practical solutions. You’ll find an app called Thrive Away on the site, which automatically deletes all new e-mails while you’re on vacation. How lovely is that?! Instead of returning to a full Inbox, you simply come back to absolutely no new mail! It’s not exactly a new concept: Mercedes-Benz did an initiative against ‘vacation-inbox stress’ in 2014 in which those who sent an e-mail to a person who was away received a reply informing them that their mail had been deleted and would therefore not be read. It was a pretty revolutionary idea at the time, but now Thrive Away seems to be making it the widely accepted norm to not look at e-mails or answer them while you’re on vacation. Hooray for Arianna!

But back to that Phone Bed Charging Station that’s on my wish list. It’s a real bed. A bed into which you tuck your mobile devices—smartphones on satin sheets on top and tablets underneath like a bunk bed—each evening before you go to sleep yourself. Oh Santa, surely you believe that offline is the new—quite literally—luxury too.