Silence. Stillness. Solitude.

Learning to take time away from the overstimulating digital world!

Silence. Stillness. Solitude.

Quieting the noise of our digital world.

What would it be like to stop what you’re doing? Close your eyes. Feel your feet on the ground. And notice your heart rate? Go ahead and try it now and you will become aware of your inner thoughts, feelings, and senses.

Continue to be still and come back to your feet touching the earth. What about your heart rate? Has it slowed down? Have your thoughts changed in these moments of reprieve from external stimulation whether from another person, book, or digital device? When was the last time you were in stillness, silence and solitude?

What is Solitude Deprivation?

Cal Newport, in his bestselling book, Digital Minimalism: Choosing a Focused Life in a Noisy World talks about the dangers of solitude deprivation defined as “a state in which you spend close to zero time alone with your own thoughts and free from input from other minds.” The ubiquitous nature of our phones and its availability 24/7 hinders many from taking this time to pause, reflect and hear one’s own thoughts.

Many think solitude means retreating by yourself to a remote cabin in the woods, but you can be in solitude in a coffee shop with noise, activity and people around you, as long as you are focused inward. It’s not being in the presence of other people, but it’s the consistent the stimulation of information, other people’s ideas or dings and pings from your digital device that creates the deprivation.

From 24/7 Connectivity

Gen Z, those born after 1995, are said to be the first generation who grew up with the ubiquitous nature of smartphone usage. In addition, teenagers today spend up to 9 hours a day consuming media, according to a recent Common Sense Media study. Humans are information foragers with a biological craving for new data, sensory input, and information. The portability of a mobile phone has made it very difficult to find time for not only solitude but stillness and silence.

Solitude helps one clarify difficult problems, slow down reaction time, and moderate emotions and feelings. Closing the eyes and feeling the ground, creates a connection to the biological body as opposed to the digitally stimulated mind, and it helps regulate an overstimulated nervous system.

To Tech/Life Balance

The next time you feel out of balance with a little too much stimulation from your digital world, take a break. Drop into stillness, silence and solitude even for a moment or two, to come back into tech/life balance. is sparking a movement that empowers youth to reverse the negative effects of digital overload, find balance, and embrace the joy of simply being human. They believe the very best solutions to finding tech-life balance will emerge from youth facing that challenge themselves with the mission to discover and learn what works––fund and cultivate those solutions— and, working together, amplify those ideas around the world to help millions more find balance between their tech and real lives.

The Thrive Global Community welcomes voices from many spheres. We publish pieces written by outside contributors with a wide range of opinions, which don’t necessarily reflect our own. Learn more or join us as a community member!
Share your comments below. Please read our commenting guidelines before posting. If you have a concern about a comment, report it here.

Sign up for the Thrive Global newsletter

Will be used in accordance with our privacy policy.

Thrive Global
People look for retreats for themselves, in the country, by the coast, or in the hills . . . There is nowhere that a person can find a more peaceful and trouble-free retreat than in his own mind. . . . So constantly give yourself this retreat, and renew yourself.


We use cookies on our site to give you the best experience possible. By continuing to browse the site, you agree to this use. For more information on how we use cookies, see our Privacy Policy.