This week the St Enoch Centre in Glasgow launched a No Phone Zone, allowing visitors to relax and unplug in the city centre without the distraction of their smartphones.
The new designated area was created to enable and encourage people to put their tech down and enjoy time with people face to face.
St Enoch Centre’s No Phone Zone was also created in response to studies suggesting a there is a negative impact on mental health and wellbeing through excessive mobile phone and social media use.
“It is now a common sight to see groups of people sitting together, all looking at their screens rather than engaging with each other and we want to encourage people to switch off their phone and instead to enjoy time together over a bite to eat with a real conversation,” S. Enoch Centre general manager Anne Ledgerwood said.
“Equally, it is well documented that people benefit from ‘me time’ whether relaxing over a coffee or reading and so we wanted to provide a space where ‘switching off’ is actively encouraged and ‘real’ experiences can be enjoyed.”
Negatives effects attributed to excessive use of mobile devices and online platforms include the inability to switch off and enjoy proper rest, insomnia, depression and anxiety, all of which are on the increase, especially in young people.
Device users of all ages are encouraged to give the new No Phone Zone a try and put down their screens, so they can be present and enjoy time with family and friends, or relax and enjoy “me time”.
The No Phone Zone is in a designated area on the mezzanine within The Atrium Food Court and will initially run for a trial period.