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The Offline Club

Jun 8, 2024 | Daily Trek, Tales from the Trek

The Offline Club - Radical Trekking - Ayelet Baron

When you join the Offline Club, you trade your phone for board games, books, and tranquility. This Dutch digital detox cafe encourages members to leave their devices at the door. Originating in Amsterdam, the promise of the club is a calm space away from the relentless digital hustle.

It promotes quiet introspection over mindless scrolling and fosters spontaneous conversations rather than brief, typed arguments. With board games, a piano, people and books, you recharge your soul instead of your device. Ironically, word spread through social media, and now the club has expanded across the Netherlands and is set to launch globally.

Many who battle stress and anxiety are finding peace in this community. The concept began with offline retreats and then opened its first phone-free hangout in Amsterdam’s Cafe Brecht. Within a month, it attracted 125,000 new Instagram followers. It’s also funny that the only available metrics relate to social media and not how many lives or communities benefited from these experiences. While we create new spaces, we need to design holistic systems.

Customers alternate between personal time and connecting with others. They pay to disconnect from phones and meet people in a real, unique experience. In a world where people feel increasingly isolated despite online connections, this offers a glimpse in how we connected in ancient times. And reminds us that maybe progress needs a rest sometimes too.

Visitors leave with lasting habits. The constant need for selfies and sharing online is new. Being present allows us to connect with ourselves and opens up new opportunities. It’s refreshing to enjoy the moment without planning the next post or perfect photo. Maybe we’re simply meant to experience life fully and trust the currents by blurring the lines between offline and online?

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