One of the greatest gifts the Jewish people has given the world is the idea of Shabbat, a time of rest and renewal dedicated to ‘higher’ and ‘holier’ pursuits than how we generally spend our time. This Friday has been designated as ‘National Unplugging Day’ – note that it is concurrent with Shabbat, from sunrise to sunset (not surprising, because it comes from a Jewish source.
(Last updated on: February 28, 2023)
NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING
On the first Friday in 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 the average American household. 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 amount of information available to us is at an all-time high and the amount of connectedness goes with us everywhere.
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. Digital connections lack the tactile essence of the real world such as sounds, smells, and touch. Eye contact, for example, lacks depth in the digital world. In person, however, we gain a sense of someone even if we don’t know what it is yet.
Another benefit of unplugging is better sleep. When we push away from the computer, put down the smartphone, and turn off the computer, we’re more likely to stretch our legs. Going outdoors into the 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 NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING
· Make a plan with a friend or two ahead of time.
· Turn off 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 and use the Dewy Decimal System.
· Have a conversation uninterrupted by a notification.
· Leave your mobile tech at home.
· Take a break from technology and use #NationalDayOfUnplugging to post on social media the day before to spread the word.
NATIONAL DAY OF UNPLUGGING HISTORY
Q. How does someone unplug if they use a computer for work or school?
A. Set aside an hour or two during the day to unplug. Another option is to begin setting aside a day a week to get away from all electronics.
Q. What are the benefits of unplugging?
A. Unplugging comes with many benefits. The most obvious is the energy savings that come with unplugging. However, we also benefit by being able to focus on human-to-human connections, better sleep, and an opportunity to focus on our own well-being.