This weekend is National Unplugging Day. One day a year that is sure to strike fear into the hearts of any well intentioned tech loving girl- but one day that really could make a huge difference. How many hours do you spend each day with your eyes fixed on a screen? Your phone, the computer, the laptop, the iPad… all of these devices take up our time, our energy and our attention. So what is National Unplugging Day, and why do we think you should take part? Read on to find out…
What is National Unplugging Day anyway?
“A day of celebration and fun. It’s a day where we urge everyone to come together and release their inner child and break free from technology to re-connect with themselves and those they love.”
Doesn’t sound so bad when you put it like that, does it? Or does it? Studies have found that as a generation, we are more addicted to our smart phones and tablets than we’d like to admit. The first thing we do when we wake up in the morning? Check Facebook, of course. And then we pop into Instagram perhaps, before catching up on any tweets we might have missed during the night. After all, the world’s moving at such a fast pace, if we don’t check in regularly we’re bound to miss out, aren’t we?
Actually… what National Unplugging Day aims to do is to highlight what we’re missing out on each and every time we divert our attention away from the present and onto our phones. It aims to show us exactly what we’re missing out on while we browse social media or catch up on emails. It aims to force us to reconnect with real life.
So National Unplugging Day is this: a day where parents around the world pledge to #GoGadgetFree and instead spend a whole 24 hours sans technology. Think you could do it?
Reasons why you should unplug
Researchers have actually started to call phone checking the new ‘yawn’ because its becoming contagious. One person in a group picks up his phone to check notifications, so his colleague does the same. Then someone on the next table sees this and decides to pick up his phone… before you know it the entire room is plugged in to social media and nobody is actually talking to anyone else. Weird? But its such a common sight we rarely notice it anymore!
Apparently 84% of adults say they cannot go a day without using their mobile phone, and most admit to taking it to bed with them. But did you know that the blue light from the screen actually inhibits the body’s ability to produce melatonin, the hormone we need in order to fall asleep? And because we can’t sleep, we pop on to Facebook, and the cycle becomes ever more vicious. Unplugging for just one day can help to break this cycle!
So unplugging could mean more conversation, and more sleep. And if you have kids, it means a whole lot more fun too. Imagine a world where we play, without taking photos for Instagram, and without the need to post constant updates on what fun we’re having? Imagine focusing solely on the here and now? Sounds amazing!
Ok, so if you’re struggling to think of how to fill your time during National Unplugging Day (really?!) here are just five ideas to get you started:
- Go for a walk. Take advantage of warmer days, fresh air and sunshine. Leave the phone at home. Instagram doesn’t need to see the beautiful flowers by the side of the path today. Instead, bend down to smell them. Appreciate their beauty. Tell a friend. Just leave them be, and leave technology out of it too. An hour outside in the fresh air helps to improve mood, boost endorphins and stimulate creativity. Not to mention the health benefits far outweigh those compared to a day sat on the sofa browsing the net.
- Enjoy some me time. Have a facial. Run a long bath. Read a good book. Go for a run. Whatever it takes you help you to relax and unwind and DON’T tell Facebook about it!
- Play. Get out there with the kids and just play. Run. Kick a ball. Ride a bike. Laugh. The kids will appreciate this so much more than they appreciate you with your eye on your phone and your mind elsewhere. And who knows? Maybe you will too.
- Bake. Get into the kitchen and spend some time creating something beautiful, nutritious and delicious. All that time spent checking emails can be converted into a proper baking session.
- Get into the garden. Tend to your seasonal produce. Smell the flowers. Get your hands dirty.
Are you with us?
National Unplugging Day is Sunday 26th June, and I will be leaving my phone at home. Are you with us? It’s going to be hard. I am just as addicted as the next person when it comes to being online, and staying connected with the virtual world. But I want to prove to myself that I can do this. I want to be able to appreciate the small things in life, and to remember the moments that make this world so beautiful. I’m not saying it will be easy, but I will do it. Wish me luck- and join me if you can!