Korean Smart Phone Cold Turkey
May 23, 2016
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At a “space out” Relax Your Brain event in South Korea about 60 people spent 90 minutes sitting in a public park in Seoul without talking, sleeping, eating or using any electronic devices during the time.
The “space out” competition was launched by local activists in 2014. Sunday’s event – organised by Seoul city council – drew more than 1,500 online applicants for the available places in the competition.
“Let our brain – never free from information overload from a smartphone, TV or computer – relax!” the council said in a statement. “Let’s enjoy just thinking nothing!”
Participants are also not allowed to look at their watches or move around too much. The person measured as having the most stable heart rate is adjudged the winner. On Sunday the honors went to a famous local rapper. “I was so exhausted physically and mentally while preparing an album, so I just wanted to relax for a while,” said Shin Hyo-Seob, a.k.a. Crush.
“This event is highly recommended for those who have migraines or complicated thoughts,” the 28-year-old said, holding his glass trophy.
“I came up with the idea for the competition while spacing out,” the event’s organizer is quoted as saying on a Korean news site. A 9-year-old girl paid the least attention in the 2014 contest. Her mother said, “I took my daughter to this event because I had been scolding her after when her school teacher said that she was spacing out.”
More than 80 per cent of South Korea’s 50 million people have smartphones, with a growing fixation on everything digital seen as a serious problem.