Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Time to Unplug

There’s no denying the benefits of technology; it allows us to share information in ways that seemed impossible in the not-so-distant past. Think about it: the World Wide Web was developed in 1990. NINETEEN NINETY! I didn’t have a cell phone until I was in high school—I remember talking to friends on a red Trimline phone that was hooked to the wall in my family’s kitchen… you know, the one with a CORD? And Skype was released just 13 years ago!

But now friends and family all around the world, along with the answer to basically any question I might have and information on literally anything and everything and nothing at all is in my pocket. I could order food, book plane tickets, buy a new outfit and that book I’ve been wanting, message my brother in California and my friends in India, find out what happened to the heartthrob from my favorite teenage sitcom and then post what I find on Twitter, and share a picture of my oh-so-delicious vegan lunch on Instagram all in a matter of minutes and right from my iPhone. 

Obviously, these technological advances have innumerable benefits. And yet, as with anything, there are downfalls too: with your entire world accessible through your phone, it’s all too easy to stop enjoying *the world*

You know, that place that exists outside of technology? A place that involves seeing a beautiful sight and marveling in its magnificence without thinking about posting it for others to see; a place with libraries and literal books you can hold and peruse for ideas and information at a leisurely pace; a place where you spend time with your family and friends *gasp* in person so you can hear the emotion in their voice rather than trying to decipher it based on the emojis used or whether or not they used capital letters or ended a sentence with a period; a place where laughter is more than three letters; the place where living actually happens

I think all of us could use a little more living in that world. As such, I was super excited when I learned about the National Day of Unplugging. Coming up on March 4, the National Day of Unplugging is a project of Reboot, a non-profit that “affirms the value of Jewish traditions and creates new ways for people to make them their own,” according to nationaldayofunplugging.com.

The purpose of the day is to do exactly what it implies: unplug. For a 24-hour period, from sundown March 4 through sundown March 5, participants avoid their cell phones and connect with loved ones and the world around them… a connection that doesn’t rely on Wi-Fi.

My husband and I already try to minimize phone use at certain times: they're not allowed at the dinner table, and we don't charge/keep them in the bedroom, but I’m super excited about this event; it’s such a great idea and there's always room for improvement! I’ve already gotten my husband on board, and we’re planning to host a small phone-free dinner party and game night. 

A quick invite I made to send to some friends!

 There are plenty of other enjoyable things you could do during this period, too. You could...

♥read a book

cook a new recipe

go for a long walk just you and a loved one (as opposed to you and a loved one plus two
  hundred online friends)

hold a conversation and be 100 percent present

write your next blog post—on paper

write a letter


try yoga or another exercise

♥take a bubble bath

start—and finish—a particularly intricate coloring book page

go to the library (I’ve already professed my love for them here)

start a fire (in a fire pit or other designated area. Don’t just go around starting fires. That's called being a pyromaniac.)

go out to a bar or restaurant and interact with the people around you instead of sipping a drink and staring down at your phone

I think you'll find they'll all be much more enjoyable without the distraction of that world-via-phone. The ideas are endless really... the *actual* world is waiting!

What do you think about this event? Will you participate? Do you already have designated phone/technology-free times? Let me know!

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