Posted by: Dawn Schell on March 10, 2014 4:27 pm

“Can’t be done”
“No way”
“That’s terrifying”
“Why would I do that?”
“No, I won’t”

These are just a few of the reactions I received when I recently broached the topic with some youth about unplugging from all things digital for a 24-hour period.

It’s not a new idea.  A couple of years ago 1,000 students from 10 countries took on the assignment of doing without the Internet or phones for 24 hours.  The results of that study were interesting. You can check it out here – http://theworldunplugged.wordpress.com.

What prompted me to revisit the idea of a digital-free day was learning about National Day of Unplugging[1] (NDU).  It’s a day to completely unplug from phones and computers.  No texts, no emails, no mindless surfing of the web.

The NDU is the brainchild of Reboot[2], a non-profit in the USA.  Reboot created the Sabbath Manifesto[3] – “a creative project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world”.  Reboot invites everyone, regardless of religious affiliation, to “carve a weekly timeout into our lives”.

Considering how “overconnected” we can all be it seems wise to take time away from the devices.  For example – counting up the devices in own household was eye-opening.  In a household of four we have five cellphones, one iPod, six laptops, one desktop and two wireless networks.  Talk about overconnected.

Unplugging for just a day may not seem like much but it is a start.  If you check out the NDU website you will see that people from all over the world have taken the unplugging pledge.   Youth and older adults are signed up and the reasons they say they want to unplug range from sweet to funny to poignant.

How about it?  Take the National Day of Unplugging Pledge for 24 hours starting at sunset March 7 and running through to sunset on March 8.  I’m going to and I’m going to recommend it to my clients too.
Dawn M. Schell, MA, CCC, CCDP is an affiliate of Worldwide Therapy Online Inc.  http://www.therapyonline.ca

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

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