The idea for Unplugged Day came about after a survey which shows 89 per cent of students spend at least 3 hours on their electronic devices a day and 29 per cent of students said they never, rarely, or only sometimes interact with people in person versus online on a typical day.
“This isn’t about saying you’re a bad person because you’re on social media. It’s about making time to take a step back and realise maybe too much screen time makes you feel exhausted or maybe it’s taking a toll on your mental health,” says Mickenzie Willars, a senior studying Advertising & Graphic Design and President of CCAD’s Student Government Association.
“At Columbus College of Art & Design, we’re working to build a culture of healthy creativity—and Unplugged Day seemed like a perfect fit in our overall efforts to support CCAD student wellness,” Mundell said. “The day is intended to help the campus community refocus, gain clarity without the distraction of devices, and explore how connectivity affects mental health and wellness,” he added.
So, on Unplugged Day, the CCAD Student Government Association is planning several interactive events on campus, including a sort of analog version of Facebook, where students, staff, and faculty will be encouraged to “post on the wall” with pens and sticky notes.
“We timed Unplugged Day to a point in the semester when students tend to get stressed out and overwhelmed,” Willars says. “So, we want to provide space for students to take a break, put down their phones, and talk to each other.”
The college plans to survey faculty, staff, and students about results of the day without screen time, and CCAD’s senior administration will attend a roundtable discussion hosted by the Student Government Association after the event.
“We’re eager to learn how the day will impact our community at Columbus College of Art & Design,” says Mundell. “And we’re open to ideas of how Unplugged Day can change our culture in the long term. Because that’s what artists and designers do. They change culture.”