Welcome to the Luddite Club, where life happens offline. Members leave their smartphones at home and instead read books, draw, and live moments that never make it to Instagram.
The Luddite Club is a group of New York City teenagers who regularly meet and hang out tech-free. Word has started to spread about the informal organization, mainly since The New York Times featured them. They aim to promote “a lifestyle of self-literation from social media and technology.” You may want to borrow a page from their book.
How Did The Luddite Club Form?
Logan Lane founded the movement to free herself from the shackles of her smartphone. Growing up surrounded by connected technology, she aimed to explore what life as a teenager looked like before social media. You know, spending time outside, talking to people, and going with the flow. Borrowing books from the library to read in the park was the logical first step. Now, several teens have embraced the joys of ditching social media and technology – and the improved mental well-being that comes from detaching yourself from FOMO, mindless scrolling, and the need for validation in the forms of likes.
The moniker Luddite comes from a group of “early 19th century English workmen destroying laborsaving machinery as a protest,” according to Merriam-Webster. It is commonly used to describe people opposed to technological change.
The Benefits Of Digital Minimalism
In a world where TikTok trends dominate Gen Z’s attention, this new generation of Luddites offers a refreshing alternative to technology addiction. Take, for example, high-schooler Lola Shub, a self-described “screenager.” According to Insider, she would mindlessly scroll through social media until she learned about the Luddite club. She has since swapped her iPhone for a flip phone and says she has more space to think creatively.
“If I have one overarching message for my fellow teenagers, it’s this: Spend time getting to know yourself and exploring the world around you,” Shub writes. “It’s so much more fulfilling — and so much more real — than the one inside your expensive little box.”
Shub is onto something, especially when you consider that U.S. teens spend about 7.5 hours a day on screens. And that alarming statistic is from a a 2019 study, before the pandemic. Social isolation drove us further into the digital world at the expense of real-life connections.
While social media is supposed to offer a platform where millions of users from across the globe can connect, it arguably has the opposite effect: more unease and disconnect than ever. Not to mention the destructive impact of comparing yourself to others online can have on your mental health.
In many ways, the Luddite movement spearheads a counterculture from which people of all ages could benefit. Try their approach for yourself – a Kurt Vonnegut novel is optional (he’s a favorite author among the Luddite Club).