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Digital disconnection

Digital detox means to take a break from digital media. How do people handle today's media overload?

Woman bicycling and looking at her mobile.
Photo: Colourbox

About the project

Intrusive media, ambivalent users, digital detox (Digitox) addresses current concerns about digital media overuse. While many studies emphasise the positive and enabling potentials of digital media, this project analyses ambivalence, resistance and attempts at withdrawal and disconnection.

Looking back only a few years, we can see tremendous changes in the way we communicate and socialise. Online and social media have begun to shape even our most mundane activities and present us with constant dilemmas about our online and offline presence. The question of how to manage online and offline involvement produces tensions in peoples’ private lives and is debated in the public sphere.

Digitox draws on interdisciplinary perspectives and insights from media studies, game studies and psychology to investigate causes, implications and reactions to intensified digital media involvement.


The primary aim of Digitox is to enhance our knowledge of causes, implications and reactions to intensified digital media involvement, and theorise reactions to such involvement.

The project sheds light on values and practices of digital detox, a new concept describing withdrawal from digital media for a designated period or other means to restrict involvement.

Digitox aims to engage productively with public concerns and bring relevant knowledge to citizens, industry and society.


The project is organized as four work packages:

WP1: Norms and policies (Chair: Ole Jacob Madsen)

WP2: Industry (Chair: Faltin Karlsen)

WP3: Users (Chair: Brita Ytre-Arne)

WP4: Theory and concepts (Chair: Trine Syvertsen)

Related projects:

The project builds on a study funded by the Council for Applied Media Research (RAM) called “Når digitale medier invaderer livet” [“When digital media invades life”] for 2018-2019. We also have a sister project in Portugal from 2021.



The Research Council of Norway (FRIPRO)




Department of Media and Communication, University of Oslo

Department of Psychology, University of Oslo

Kristiania University CollegeDepartment of Information Science and Media Studies, University of Bergen



Published Jan. 24, 2019 3:33 PM - Last modified May 19, 2021 10:12 AM


Trine Syvertsen, Project Manager

See list of participants (below) and list of substudies in the project