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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.

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

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


The project is organized in four work packages:

WP1: Norms and policies (Chair: Karin Fast)

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

Selected publications

Special issues

Special issue of Convergence Vol 27, issue 6. Special issue: Digital disconnection. Edited by Brita Ytre-Arne & Stine Lomborg. Table of contents here 

Ytre-Arne, B and Lomborg, S (2021) Advancing digital disconnection research: Introduction to the special issue 

Journal articles and book chapters

Syvertsen, Trine (2022) Offline tourism: digital and screen ambivalence in Norwegian mountain huts with no internet access Scandinavian Journal of Hospitality and Tourism. First published 12.5.22

Karlsen, Faltin (2021) Balancing Ethics, Art and Economics: A Qualitative Analysis of Game Designer Perspectives on Monetisation. Games and Culture. First published 8.12.21

Syvertsen, T., & Ytre-Arne, B. (2021). Privacy, energy, time and moments stolen: Social media experiences pushing towards disconnection. In A. Chia, A. Jorge, & T. Karppi (Eds.), Reckoning with Social Media: Disconnection in the Age of the Techlash. Lanham: Roman and Littlefield.

Fast, Karin. (2021). The disconnection turn: Three facets of disconnective work in post-digital capitalismConvergence. DOI: (Online first, August 14, 2021, part of the special issue)

Moe, Hallvard and Madsen, Ole Jacob (2021) Understanding digital disconnection beyond media studies.Convergence.  DOI: (part of the special issue).

Ytre-Arne, Brita & Moe, Hallvard (2021) Doomscrolling, Monitoring and Avoiding: News Use in COVID-19 Pandemic LockdownJournalism Studies, DOI: 10.1080/1461670X.2021.1952475

Karlsen, F., & Ytre-Arne, B. (2021). Intrusive media and knowledge work: how knowledge workers negotiate digital media norms in the pursuit of focused work. InformationCommunication & Society, 1-16. doi:10.1080/1369118X.2021.1933561

Fast, Karin, Lindell, Johan & Jansson, André (2021) Disconnection as Distinction: A Bourdieusian Study of Where People Withdraw from Digital Media. In A. Jansson & P. C. Adams (Eds.), Disentangling: The Geographies of Digital Disconnection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Enli, Gunn & Syvertsen, Trine (2021). Disconnect to Reconnect! Self-help to Regain an Authentic Sense of Space through Digital Detoxing. In A. Jansson & P. C. Adams (Eds.), Disentangling: The Geographies of Digital Disconnection. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Enli, Gunn (2021) Digitale forstyrrelser – et nytt politikkfelt eller individets problem? Nytt norsk tidsskrift 01-02,2021: 19-32.

Ytre-Arne, Brita; Syvertsen, Trine; Moe, Hallvard and Karlsen, Hallvard (2020) Temporal ambivalences in smartphone use: Conflicting flows, conflicting responsibilitiesNew Media & Society. 2020, Vol. 22(9) 1715–1732. Open access.

Syvertsen, Trine: Karlsen, Faltin & Bolling, Jørgen (2019) Digital detox på norskNorsk medietidsskrift (open access)

Syvertsen, Trine and Enli, Gunn (2019)  Digital detox: Media resistance and the promise of authenticityConvergence, Online first, May 2019. Printed in 26(5-6), 2020.

Syvertsen, Trine (2019)  'Loving and hating media', book chapter in Fritt från fältet, festschrift to Gøran Bolin, 2019, download open access here 

Karlsen, Faltin and Syvertsen, Trine (2016) You Can’t Smell Roses Online: Intruding Media and Reverse Domestication (open access), Special issue Nordicom Review, selected conference publications.


Trine Syvertsen: Digital Detox: The Politics of Disconnecting Emerald, 2020.

Trine Syvertsen: Media Resistance: Protest, Dislike, Abstention (book, open access), Palgrave, 2017.

Master thesis

Cathrine Ommundsen, Universitetet i Bergen (2020) Digital frakobling - En kvalitativ studie av smarttelefonbruk og mobilbegrensning

Elin Su Helnes, Universitetet i Oslo (2021) MEDIEVANER I «DISSE KORONATIDER». En studie av studenters forhold til egen mediebruk i koronapandemien

Sobia Munir, Universitetet i Oslo (2021) Digital Detox Apps: Self- Discipline or Negotiating screen time with smartphones using Digital Detox Apps in tertiary education spaces

See also

Published Jan. 24, 2019 3:33 PM - Last modified Aug. 8, 2022 2:03 PM


Trine Syvertsen, Project Manager

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