We keep missing out on our lives as we pass our days buried in devices. The National Day of Unplugging is our chance to detox and reset.
According to a study from 2018, 77% of people own a smartphone and use it constantly. As we spend our days documenting our every move on social media, we shield ourselves from the outside world where real connections happen.
- What Is National Day of Unplugging
The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown where we unplug our devices and plug in to life that is passing us by. In 2021, it was celebrated on March 5th , but it’s scheduled for March 4th next year, March 3rd is booked for 2023, March 1st for 2024 and March 7th for 2025. But, the date doesn’t matter as much as its purpose. The Jewish company Reboot initiated this day to encourage people to detox digitally and spend more time with their families and do activities that make life worth living.
The National Today data found 75% of Americans spend anywhere from 3 to more than 10 hours a day on a device. 48% of Americans spend 5 hours or more per day looking at a screen, while 13% spend more than 10 hours. Moreover, women spend more time on devices than men as 77% of women spend 3 hours or more per day on their computer, phone, or tablet, compared to 68% of men. However, men care slightly more about their social media image than women. It’s not hard to guess we became addicted to these devices.
There are too many things to love about this day. It removes unhealthy emotions as feeling dissatisfied with our lives by seeing how other people live, or at least what they show us. It helps us combat the FOMO phenomenon which is the fear of missing out that has been recognized as a recently emerging psychological disorder. Overall, it helps us anchor in the present moment and appreciate life because every day is different and it doesn’t happen again – so the least we can do is not miss it.
- Benefits of Unplugging
84% of cell phone users claim they could not go a single day without their device but we don’t need statistics to tell us we are addicted to technology. What we need to remind ourselves is that technology has a power-off button that can provide us with many benefits.
Clear out negative emotions
Jealousy, envy and loneliness happen to one in three people who end up feeling more dissatisfied with their lives after going on social media. We forget that people only show what they want to show. Unplugging allows us to remember and find ways how to be happy without our screen.
Combat the fear of missing out
FOMO has been recognized as a recently emerging psychological disorder brought on by the massive increase in technology addiction. Nowadays, we even see the plates of food our friends are enjoying. Yet we forget all we need to go anywhere or do anything is close our eyes and imagine…. Turning off social media helps us remember our inner power and the power of being present which helps us realize we are not missing out on anything as we are exactly where we need to be.
Disconnect to connect to yourself
In a world where outside noise is louder than ever, listening to our inner voice has become challenging. You need to turn off the noise and practice silence or some form of meditation to show some respect for your inner being. Your inner voice has all the answers, all we have to do is listen.
Prioritize creation over consumption
We became a consumption-oriented society that is also resulting in enormous energy waste as all these devices need energy to operate. Energy conservation is good for the environment as well as your wallet as you will notice significant savings on your Reliant Energy bill.
When we use our laptops to create something such as write, that is a different story. But we usually use these devices to purchase something or just consume things like watch a movie, play a game, buy something or browse the internet. The world needs more creation. It needs your passion, your solutions and your unique contribution.
Remember what life is
Life is still about flesh, blood, and eye contact. As pretty as it is that modern technology removes all barriers, a virtual hug cannot be compared to an actual hug.
- Ways To Celebrate National Day of Unplugging
Most of the activities can be done on your own or with the people in your home and you can even do them in a social-distancing reality.
We often forget just to have fun. It can be as simple as going on a scavenger hunt or dancing a song away. If you don’t feel inspired, just ask a kid for an idea as this comes naturally to them.
How about making your own fairy garden? Get that crafting vibe on and let your hands lead the way.
Cooking and baking can be an endless source of fun and your tummy will be in for quite a treat with the end-result you will create.
How about unplugging for a noble cause? If you cannot volunteer, declutter, decorate and donate.
Rest and relax as you deem fit. Treat yourself with a massage, do a yoga session, put on a guided meditation or just take a relaxing bath with your favorite essential oils.
By the words of Anne Lamott, “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” Technology has some wonderful benefits, but it is becoming increasingly clear that we have developed an unhealthy attachment to it. Just like the mind is an excellent servant but a terrible master, the same can be said for technology. Learning to unplug is an important life skill that is becoming a lost art in this ever-connected world. The wisest will remember that the only thing that is truly essential for a good life is a fulfilled heart.