This is not a prison, the real prison is where we return to…

Interesting story from Reuters about South Koreans who pay to stay in a mock prison to get a break from the stress of their lives. From the post:

Since 2013, the “Prison Inside Me” facility in northeast Hongcheon has hosted more than 2,000 inmates, many of them stressed office workers and students seeking relief from South Korea’s demanding work and academic culture.

“I was too busy,” said Park as she sat in a 5-sq-m (54-sq-foot) cell. “I shouldn’t be here right now, given the work I need to do. But I decided to pause and look back at myself for a better life.”

Prison rules are strict. No talking with other inmates. No mobile phones or clocks.

Co-founder Noh Ji-Hyang said the mock prison was inspired by her husband, a prosecutor who often put in 100-hour work weeks.

“He said he would rather go into solitary confinement for a week to take a rest and feel better,” she said. “That was the beginning.”

A downturn in South Korea’s high-tech, export-driven economy has intensified a hyper-competitive school and work environment that experts say adds to a high incidence of stress and suicide.

“After a stay in the prison, people say, ‘This is not a prison, the real prison is where we return to,'” she said.

Reading this I am probably not the only one to think maybe they are on to something. Globally work is becoming a massive source of stress for a lot of people. Technology has blurred the boundaries between work and home life. The Smartphone acts a digital lease that means many of us never switch off.

If you fancy a break from the modern world I can recommend a stay with The Benedictine Monks of Rostrevor as a less severe local option. £35 quid a night gets you room, 3 meals a day, lovely grounds to stroll in and best of all a terrible mobile phone signal.