A fascination for the authentic is pervasive in contemporary culture. This article discusses texts recommending digital detox and how these accentuate dilemmas of what it means to be authentically human in the age of constant connectivity. Digital detox can be defined as a periodic disconnection from social or online media, or strategies to reduce digital media involvement. Digital detox stands in a long tradition of media resistance and resistance to new communication technologies, and non-use of media, but advocates balance and awareness more than permanent disconnection. Drawing on the analysis of 20 texts promoting digital detox: self-help literature, memoirs and corporate websites, the article discusses how problems with digital media are defined and recommended strategies to handle them. The analysis is structured around three dominant themes emerging in the material: descriptions of temporal overload and 24/7 connectivity, experiences of spatial intrusion and loss of contact with ‘real life’ and descriptions of damage to body and mind. A second research topic concerns how arguments for digital detox can be understood within a wider cultural and political context. Here, we argue that digital detox texts illuminate the rise of a self-regulation society, where individuals are expected to take personal responsibility for balancing risks and pressures, as well as representing a form of commodification of authenticity and nostalgia.