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In an era when digital devices such as smartphones have become a basic life necessity, people are gaining awareness about a practice called “digital detox,” whereby they can unplug from such gadgets for a while to find peace of mind, focus on real-life interactions and make time to smell the roses.

Sachiko Sato, a 46-year-old office worker in Tokyo, said she grew worried about her son, a high school student, seemed glued to his devices as remote classes increased due to the coronavirus pandemic. But as she watched just how much time he spent looking at the screen, she, too, began to notice how dependent she was on her own smartphone.

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