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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




  • Karlsen, Faltin & Ytre-Arne, Brita (2021). Intrusive media and knowledge work: how knowledge workers negotiate digital media norms in the pursuit of focused work. Information, Communication & Society. ISSN 1369-118X. doi: 10.1080/1369118X.2021.1933561
  • Fast, Karin (2021). The disconnection turn: Three facets of disconnective work in post-digital capitalism. Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. ISSN 1354-8565. doi: 10.1177/13548565211033382
  • Fast, Karin; Lindell, Johan & Jansson, André (2021). Disconnection as distinction:A Bourdieusian study of where people withdraw from digital media, Disentangling: The Geographies of Digital Disconnection. Oxford University Press. ISSN 9780197571873.
  • Ytre-Arne, Brita & Moe, Hallvard (2021). Doomscrolling, Monitoring and Avoiding: News Use in COVID-19 Pandemic Lockdown. Journalism Studies. ISSN 1461-670X. doi: 10.1080/1461670X.2021.1952475
  • Ytre-Arne, Brita; Syvertsen, Trine; Moe, Hallvard & Karlsen, Faltin (2020). Temporal ambivalences in smartphone use: Conflicting flows, conflicting responsibilities. New Media & Society. ISSN 1461-4448. 22(9), p. 1715–1732. doi: 10.1177/1461444820913561 Full text in Research Archive
  • Syvertsen, Trine; Karlsen, Faltin & Bolling, Jørgen (2019). Digital detox på norsk. Norsk Medietidsskrift. ISSN 0804-8452. 26(2), p. 1–18. doi: 10.18261/issn.0805-9535-2019-02-02 Full text in Research Archive
  • Syvertsen, Trine & Enli, Gunn (2019). Digital detox: Media resistance and the promise of authenticity. Convergence. The International Journal of Research into New Media Technologies. ISSN 1354-8565. 26(5-6). doi: 10.1177/1354856519847325 Full text in Research Archive

View all works in Cristin

View all works in Cristin

  • Karlsen, Faltin (2021). Invaderende medieteknologi og digital detox: brukere og bransje.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2021). Invaderende medieteknologi: Frustrasjoner og håndteringsstrategier .
  • Fast, Karin (2021). Post-digital capitalism and the disconnection turn in work.
  • Fast, Karin (2021). Where the spatial elite resides?: Examining coworking and coworking spaces through the lens of eliteness instead of precariousness.
  • Fast, Karin (2021). Enter the post-digital housewife: Re-spatializing digital labour in the culture of disconnectivity.
  • Fast, Karin & Enli, Gunn (2021). Digital distancing – as good as it gets?: A study of political work and life under the (dis)connectivity imperatives.
  • Karlsen, Faltin & Spjeldnæs, Kari J. (2021). Reading habits under digital transformation.
  • Fast, Karin (2021). Den frånkopplade arbetsplatsen och nya ideal kring digitalt välmående. [Internet]. Karlstads universitet: web (intern/extern), sociala medier.
  • Fast, Karin (2021). The ‘disconnection turn’ and its consequences for work.
  • Fast, Karin (2021). (Dis)connected territories in the post-digital city.
  • Fast, Karin (2021). Off the grid: Digital disconnection, technology and social space .
  • Fast, Karin (2021). Atypical media work in the culture of (dis)connectivity.
  • Spjeldnæs, Kari J. (2021). "Hvorfor snakke om å lese?".
  • Spjeldnæs, Kari J. (2021). "Digital detox og leseglede. Vi skulle så gjerne lest litt mer".
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2020). Design and undesign.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2020). Game Creation, Monetisation Models, and Ethical Concerns.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2020). DIGITAL DETOX CAMP: VALUES AND MOTIVATIONS FOR ENGAGING IN DIGITAL DISCONNECT. Selected Papers of Internet Research, SPIR. ISSN 2162-3317.
  • Fast, Karin; Lindell, Johan & Jansson, André (2020). Disconnection as distinction: A Bourdieusian study of where people withdraw from digital media.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Daniel har ingen sosiale medier - Jeg føler meg mye lykkeligere uten. [Newspaper]. Stavanger Aftenblad.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Når Daniel (23) kjenner det blir for mykje, deaktiverer han Messenger. [Newspaper]. Framtida.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Flere forsøker digital detox for å være til stede i øyeblikket. [Journal].
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). What is Media Studies? Consolidation and Digital dilemmas.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Ambivalence, resistance and digital detox: How to live happily, responsibly and ethically in an intensely mediated environment? Keynote.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Trenger dere en digital detox? [Journal]. Plusstid.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Debatt om mobilavhengighet.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Hvem har skylda for at vi blir hekta på mobilen? UiOs podcast Universitetsplassen med Vinoth Vinaya, Hold-gründer og Trine Syvertsen. [Radio]. Universitetet i Oslo.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Digital detox: Hva skjer når en gjeng gamere henger i friluft? [Newspaper]. Aftenposten.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Does a digital detox make sense during the covid-19 crisis? [Radio]. podcast .
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Expert advice on how to digital detox in self-isolation. On Digital Detox: The Politics of Disconnection. [Journal]. Dazed & Confused Magazine .
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Kan Akademia konkurrere mot Snapchat og Netflix?
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Slik lykkes du med digital detox. [TV]. TV2.
  • Ytre-Arne, Brita (2020). Jeg trenger hjelp. [Newspaper]. Morgenbladet.
  • Ytre-Arne, Brita (2020). Et kjempenettverk rett i lomma. [Business/trade/industry journal]. Forskerforum.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Koronasituasjonen gjorde at prosjekter måtte legges på is. Men så kastet forskerne seg rundt. . [Business/trade/industry journal]. Forskerforum.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Lever uten smarttelfon og sosiale medier. [Newspaper]. VG.
  • Moe, Hallvard (2020). DIGITAL DETOX – ein del av livsmeistringa? .
  • Moe, Hallvard & Madsen, Ole Jacob (2020). What we talk about when we talk about digital disconnection.
  • Ytre-Arne, Brita (2020). Digital mediebruk - kampen om oppmerksomheten.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Reflecting on the future of media and communication research.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Digital detox offers new perspectives on our relationship with technology. What's New in Publishing.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Digital frakobling i fastetida. Intervju på Opptur. [Radio]. NRK P1.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Mediesjef sletter Facebook-profilen: – Har mistet troen. Intervju om digital detox i forbindelse med at redaktør for Teknisk Ukeblad sletter sin Facebook-profil. . [Newspaper]. Drammens Tidende.
  • Ytre-Arne, Brita (2020). Jeg savner til og med kolleger jeg ikke liker . [Newspaper]. Morgenbladet.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2020). Den nye spilleautomaten. [Newspaper]. Aftenposten.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Intrusive media, ambivalent users, digital detox. [Radio]. Geomedia Studies.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Mediebruk i koronatider. [TV]. TV2 Nyhetene.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Medieflyt og læringsflyt i koronasituasjonen.
  • Fast, Karin (2020). Precarious workers – or spatial elites? Coworking as class privilege and coworking spaces as (super-)gentrifiers.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2020). Kan Akademia konkurrere mot Snapchat og Netflix? Aftenposten (morgenutg. : trykt utg.). ISSN 0804-3116.
  • Madsen, Ole Jacob (2019). Det digitale jeget. Samtiden. ISSN 0036-3928. p. 70–75.
  • Eriksen, Thomas Hylland & Madsen, Ole Jacob (2019). Smartmobilen bør ikke bli en syndebukk. [Internet]. Hyllands verden.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Nordic media welfare state and digital detox.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Avoiding the news: Implications of media resistance and non-participation in the digital era.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). –⁠ Jeg har sett hva folk kan skrive, og å ikke få det i ansiktet hver dag er litt befriende. [Newspaper]. Universitas.
  • Moe, Hallvard & Ytre-Arne, Brita (2019). Folk theories of algorithms.
  • Madsen, Ole Jacob (2019). Du og jeg og skjermen.
  • Karlsen, Faltin & Ytre-Arne, Brita (2019). Intrusive media and knowledge workers: Negotiating norms for digital media use.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2019). Invaderende medieteknologi og overdreven bruk.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Slettet Facebook og fikk bedre livskvalitet. [Newspaper]. Dagbladet.
  • Enli, Gunn (2019). Perfekt-effekten. [Newspaper]. Aftenposten.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). De fleste av oss kunne ha godt av å vie mobilen litt mindre oppmerksomhet . [Radio]. Teknisk Ukeblad.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2019). Digital oppvekst. [Radio]. NRK P2 - Desse dagar.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Digital detox - en ny trend.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Loving and hating media. In Jacobsson, Peter & Stiernstedt, Fredrik (Ed.), Fritt från fältet - om medier, generationer och värden. Festskrift til Gøran Bolin. Södertörn University Press. ISSN 978-91-88663-62-7. p. 37–47.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Media resistance as a collective activity.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Digital frakobling. [TV]. TV2 Nyhetskanalen.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Skal forske på digital frakobling . [Internet].
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Digital forgiftning. [Radio]. NRK radio - Radio Buskerud.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Digital detox - årets medietrend.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Er digital detox årets medietrend? [Radio]. Ekko, NRK.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). You've got flight-shame, but what about smartphone-shame? Digital detox and media sustainability.
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Forskningsprosjekt om digital detox . [Radio]. NRK Dagsnytt .
  • Syvertsen, Trine (2019). Skjermfri uke og digital frakobling. [Newspaper]. Dagen.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2019). Digitox: Intrusive media, ambivalent users and digital detox.
  • Karlsen, Faltin (2019). Digitox: Invaderende medier, ambivalente brukere og digital detox.
  • Ytre-Arne, Brita (2019). Ber deg bruke påska til å faste fra mobilen. [Radio]. NRK.
  • Madsen, Ole Jacob (2019). Du og jeg og skjermen.
  • Karlsen, Faltin & Syvertsen, Trine (2018). Digital detox på norsk.

View all works in Cristin

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