For one day a year each March, members from the nonprofit organization “Reboot” urge people to join them in observing the National Day of Unplugging.
From sundown to sundown during this 24-hour period, participants take a tech detox—a time-out from using anything that connects people to the electronic world. Thus, all devices such as computers, cell phones, laptops, iPods, tablets and Kindles are taboo, as are email and social media.
Today’s world is so hectic for many of us that taking a short break from technology and its related paraphernalia makes good sense and can be therapeutic.
Being constantly connected in cyberspace, for instance, can become highly addictive. According to webMD.com, “An AOL study found that 59 percent of PDA users check their inboxes every time a message arrives.”
So why not give the tech timeout a try for just one day? If you start feeling withdrawal symptoms from just thinking about not accessing any of your technological gadgetry, here are the 10 simple principles of the annual celebration:
1. Avoid technology.
2. Connect with loved ones.
3. Nurture your health.
4. Get outside.
5. Avoid commerce.
6. Light candles.
7. Drink a glass of wine.
8. Eat bread.
9. Find silence.
10. Give back.
As a participant of the National Day of Unplugging, you can customize the time off to suit your own needs and lifestyle. For instance, if candles and wine are not to your liking, consider a yoga class, meditation, taking a hike or a nap. It's a great opportunity to engage in face-to-face connections with neighbors, friends or family.
Creating TRUE Connection
It seems that the more plugged-in we become to the electronic world, the less we engage in real-life encounters with loved ones—and ourselves.
Instructor of psychology for Harvard Medical School, clinical psychologist and author Dr. Craig Malkin says that technology actually makes some people afraid of intimacy. He refers to these folks as “the cyber celibate”—people who, he says, “shut out not only friendship, but even romance and physical intimacy, in favor of the rush that comes with online connection and gaming thrills.”
Unplugging for just one day will slow down the pace of your life and help you feel connected to those things that nourish your health and social well-being.
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