In an effort to encourage vacationers to truly live in the moment, one of Bali's most iconic luxury resorts has banned the use of smartphones while lounging poolside.
According to CNN, Ayana Resort and Spa has developed a new program appropriately named "In the Moment" which prohibits visitors from using electronic devices while enjoying one of its most popular facilities, the River Pool.
During the hours of 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each day, guests must abandon their beloved devices in order to enter the luxurious pool oasis. Various signs posted around the area act as reminders of the ban and the resort even offers secure lockers for those unwilling to leave their electronics unattended in their hotel room.
This ban not only forbids smartphones but includes all electronic equipment of any kind, including digital cameras, iPads, tablets and Kindle eReaders. Those who unplug are encouraged to find enjoyment elsewhere with books, magazines, and each other's company. Anyone feeling a little restless and looking for a bit more excitement can utilize the resort's offering of non-digital entertainment, like Jenga, sudoku, decks of cards and magnetic chess.
"The ethos of River Pool is to create a place of tranquility, where our guests can truly relax and be in the moment," a representative from the resort told CNN.
On its website, Ayana explains this ban is also meant to help guests better enjoy the seclusion of the tranquil pool without the unnecessary distraction of electronics. Anyone wishing to take photographs of or in the pool must visit outside the hours of the ban.
"During your time at River Pool...we promise there will be no calls, no text, no pictures, and no social media," the website reads. "Just you, River Pool and this moment!"
Need even more reason to book a stay? The resort actually offers its poolside guests a delicious cocktail to enjoy during their vacation from technology dubbed "Digital Detox", made up of vodka, yuzu honey, and clear tomato juice.
The River Pool is the only facility at the resort where devices have been banned - its 11 other magnificent pools, including the Ocean Beach Pool, are open for all to enjoy and snap as many pics and take as many videos as they need to fill their Instagram feed.
This unplugging initiative could prove to be hugely important for those people who have a hard time letting go of their technology while on vacation. A 2018 survey conducted by OnePoll revealed 53 percent of Americans never go completely off the grid during their vacation, and 20 percent admitted they checked their smartphones once per hour during their most recent getaway. About 14 percent admitted they checked it twice hourly.
Perhaps the secret to allowing yourself to truly enjoy your well-deserved vacation is to ditch the tech and truly lose yourself in the experience without worrying about social media. That being said, another recent study conducted by Travelzoo found 30 percent of those surveyed had booked their trips based on whether they believed the destination and/or activity would bolster their social media content. Moreover, 47 percent admitted social media definitely has an effect on their desire to experience more during their vacations.
All in all, the idea of a digital detox during a vacation certainly seems to have its pros and cons, but it definitely also seems worth a try, even if just to see if you could rise to the challenge.