The first Friday of March, National Day of Unplugging, kicks off a 24-hour period from sundown to sundown, to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using today’s technology, electronics, and social media.
Look around your house. Smartphones, computers, gaming systems, and smart TVs may not fill every nook and cranny, but gradually these devices are taking up residence and bandwidth in our homes and brains. According to Pew Research, the typical American family contains approximately 5 connected devices. Media, friends, entertainment, education, work, and more are all at our fingertips.
The average American teen spends 7 hours online each day – outside of the time spent on schoolwork. Technology can affect social development, create feelings of missing out and increase anxiety and depression.
Disconnecting or unplugging from all the digital static offers us an opportunity to reset. It also allows us to make more human connections with the people around us.
Another benefit of unplugging is better sleep. When we push away from the computer, put down the smartphone, and turn off our notifications, we’re more likely to stretch our legs. Going outdoors, getting some fresh air, we might actually get more natural exercise causing our bodies to sleep better.
Other things about unplugging that might surprise you are that you’ll find more time to do the things you keep saying you have no time to do. For example, reading that book or visiting with an old friend, cleaning out the closets, or hiking a trail. What’s on your list that National Day of Unplugging will help you get finished?
HOW TO OBSERVE
It’s pretty simple really. Make a plan with a friend or two ahead of time. Turn off the smartphones, computers, personal assistants, gaming systems, and televisions. Start your day by singing in the shower. Read the newspaper. Meet a friend for breakfast. Go to the library. Have a conversation uninterrupted by a notification. How will you spend the day?
Take a break from technology and use #NationalDayOfUnplugging to post on social media the day before to spread the word.