National Day of Unplugging

Cellphone lockbox

As much as we live in an age that is increasingly connected and overstimulated, there’s also a growing movement of businesses and organizations that are trying to address the issues of distraction that come with technology.

Case in point: The National Day of Unplugging, happening from sundown on March 9th to sundown on March 10th. This project is an ongoing effort to encourage people to bring balance into their use of technology by reflecting on their use and taking a regular tech break, started by Reboot back in 2010.

“We recognized that people are tired of always being plugged in but they didn’t know how to take the steps to make a change. The expectation that you are always reachable, that you will respond immediately to that beeping, buzzing and ringing of texts, emails and phone calls has created a society of people who are on edge and overwhelmed and disconnected from those actually around them,” – Tanya Schevitz, spokesperson for Reboot’s National Day of Unplugging.

The challenge is to put away digital devices for 24 hours, but the real goal is to encourage people to take the time to pause and reflect on their technology usage (and perhaps even, dependency) and to strive to find a balance.

Here are some of NDU’s tips for disconnecting:

  • Use an alarm clock instead of your phone to wake you up: This way, you won’t be immediately pulled into checking texts, notifications, emails, etc.
  • Set aside a regular time to unplug: Like setting aside time to exercise or to enjoy a meal, it may be helpful to schedule in time slots in your day when you don’t use any digital devices
  • Delete social media apps from your phone: Or at the very least, shut off the notifications which can pull you in when it’s not necessary

It may surprise some to learn that The National Day of Unplugging has ties to Jewish faith—its guiding project, the Sabbath Manifesto, was created by Reboot with Dan Rollman, a member of the Reboot creative network. While Rollman did not observe Shabbat growing up, as an adult he began to think of how addicted he was to technology, and that this connectedness never allowed him a moment of pause:

“As my life became increasingly hectic and plugged in, I became more and more attracted to the idea of a weekly day of rest. There’s clearly a social problem when we’re interacting more with digital interfaces than our fellow human beings. I recognized that I needed a break and I wanted a modern way to observe a weekly day of rest.”

For those of different faiths or backgrounds, The National Day of Unplugging is a way to weave a common thread for all to provide a space for people to disconnect and engage with others. Ancient rituals, like Shabbat or gathering around a campire, demand focus and our full attention and can provide a break from the hustle and bustle of modern life.

Our mission at Getaway is to help provide a counterbalance and more simplicity, quiet and leisure in lives—unplugging is integral to the experience. You can join or learn more about the National Day of Unplugging movement here, and unplug at one of our own tiny cabins.