"Rawdogging" on Flights: The Dopamine Detox That’s Catching Fire

"Man's in airplane mode."

Mustafa Gatollari - Author

Jul. 1 2024, Published 11:20 a.m. ET

Men Are "Rawdogging" Flights Without Entertainment
Source: TikTok | @oiwudini - TikTok | @ashtynkingsbury - TikTok | @deathroe90

The term “rawdogging” may not be familiar (in the the G-Rated context), but on flights this trend is gaining traction on TikTok.

What is it, you ask? In this case, “rawdogging” is the act of tuning out all distractions, including in-flight entertainment (and even food and drink), on board a flight for the duration of the trip. And most of all, no phones.

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“Rawdogging” or “‘barebacking” is not a copulative position, at least in this context, but a new trend on flights that involves “fasting” from food, drinks, in-flight entertainment screens, talking, and moving.

Essentially, you board the flight and, well … just sit there.

Turning on the in-flight map is OK, but no movies or music. Period. Full stop.

Inspiring or BS?

TikTok is the birthplace of many trends, and “rawdogging” flights is no exception. Various TikTokers have taken to the platform to share their experiences with this new form of travel mindfulness.

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For instance, Wudini (@oiwudini) posted a video sitting on an airplane, captioned, “Just rawdogged a 7hr flight (new personal best) no headphones, no movie, no water, nothing. Incredible. The power of the mind knows no bounds.” This video raked in 13.6M views.

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Similarly, content creator Ashtyn (@ashytynkingsbury) shared a clip of her husband sitting at the airport with the text overlay, “My husband’s green flag is that he’s the opposite of an iPad kid. Completely rawdogging a flight — no phone, music, movie. Man is simply content with existing at all times ever,” hitting the 7M mark.

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Dalton (@deathroe90), a bodybuilder and MMA enthusiast, also jumped on the bandwagon with a video of himself on a flight, captioned, “Just rawdogged a flight from Orlando to LA. No water, no snacks, no music or entertainment. Seat fully upright. The power of the mind has no limits. Stay hard,” which has 1.5M views.

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And lastly, another TikTok account, The McFarlands (@the.mcfarlands), posted a hilarious video of the younger McFarland talking about his boomer father “rawdogging” a flight. "Dad showing up to the airport fully prepared to absolutely rawdog a 4+ hour flight," the video was captioned, and it was set to the Rush classic "Tom Sawyer," showing the father confidently strolling through the airport in cargo shorts, a tucked-in polo, tube socks, and dumpy-looking New Balances.

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These TikTokers all seem to conjure up a classic clip from Curb Your Enthusiasm where Larry and Jeff take a flight and have one of their famous back-and-forths:

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Larry asks, “Did you have anything to read?” to which Jeff responds, “Just sit there.” Larry quips back, “You don't have a magazine or a book?” Jeff says, “No, I just sit.” The duo button it up perfectly with Larry asking, “How can you not bring a book or magazine?” And Jeff deadpans, “I don't need one, I like just sitting.” Larry asks the million-dollar question: “Who could sit on a plane for five hours like that? It's crazy.”

Well, thank you, Jeff, perhaps you started the revolution.

“Rawdogging” isn't just being used for folks on flights that help people with swearing off of external dopamine rushes. Several other activities have gone viral on TikTok as ways to avoid the dopamine hit of technology.

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One popular trend is the "dopamine detox," where individuals take a break from activities like social media, gaming, and binge-watching TV shows. The detox can last from a day to several weeks, during which people instead engage in low-stimulus activities such as reading, meditation, and spending time in nature, aiming to reset the brain’s reward system and reduce dependence on instant gratification.

Another viral activity is cold plunges and ice baths, where users take cold showers or immerse in ice baths to perform the same function. This practice is believed to reduce inflammation, improve mood, and increase resilience by providing a natural dopamine boost without the digital stimulation.

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Additionally, nature walks and hiking have gained significant traction on TikTok. Even urban hiking has caught on. These activities encourage folks to disconnect from their devices and enjoy the calming effects of nature, or the sprawling greeneries in cities, like Central Park in New York.

Spending time outdoors helps balance dopamine levels and improves overall mental well-being, as promoted by many users on the platform. Yes, there is some irony to posting about not being on social media on social media, though, isn’t there?

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Nevertheless, these activities reflect a broader movement toward finding healthier ways to manage and increase dopamine levels without relying on technology to do the job for you.

So, will you be the next to join the “rawdogging” trend on your next flight? It is, after all, a simple way to disconnect from the chaos of the internet and reconnect with your inner self. Whether or not you’re called to action by this trend, there is something to be said for eliminating distractions and embracing a more mindful approach to travel … when at all possible. Give it a shot — your neurochemicals just might thank you.

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