How Will You Celebrate the National Day of Unplugging and . . . the Day After?

Image from Reboot’s Unplugging campaign.

I was pleasantly surprised to see an article on “unplugging” in the last issue of Sunset Magazine, “The Unplugged Home.” That the article features a family in the San Francisco Bay area (the capital of plugging in) isn’t surprising. When I was a video editor many years ago the last thing I wanted to do was sit in front of another TV when I got home. I suspect many tech workers feel the same about computers.

We got rid of our TV a long time ago and have never missed it. But the interwebs are a different matter. I think we humans are hardwired to be attracted to novelty and the interwebs are a crack cocaine pipe full of informational novelty. Sometimes I’m using the internet wisely to, say, find the optimal planting times for rhubarb. But other times I’m reading nonsense about the Bavarian Illuminati hand signals Beyonce allegedly deployed during her Superbowl appearance.

Reboot, a Jewish arts organization is sponsoring a National Day of Unplugging from sundown to sundown March 1st to 2nd. I think this is a great idea and I plan on participating–I especially like their Sabbath Manifesto.

But the problem for me is not disconnecting from the internet–that’s easy–since I don’t have a smart phone I do that every time I leave the house. No, the problem is reconnecting responsibly, i.e. using the internet productively. The internet is, after all, a fantastic research and connectivity tool.

Ahead of the National Day of Unplugging I’d like to hear from readers about how you manage technology in your household–your strategies for disconnecting and connecting responsibly. If I get enough responses I’ll feature them in a follow up post on March 4th.

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  1. This post speaks to me. In a similar fashion, my church is doing a 21 day fast. We’re encouraged to either do a partial fast – not eating certain foods (particularly meat or delicacies), or we can fast from a certain activity such as TV, Internet, Facebook, etc. I opted to fast from Facebook, which has increasingly become a major time sink for me. Our fast ends on Sunday, and I’ve been amazed at how “unplugging” has helped me be more productive and relaxed at the same time!

  2. I have given up being on the computer after 7 pm. It helps me sleep better.
    The other thing I am going to do from this day forth is NEVER read comments on any commercial web site. I start reading them, get madder and madder at the level of discourse, depressed at the stupidity and rudeness of commentators but can’t turn away. Crazy.

  3. We were internet challenged for 10 days when we moved, and found ourselves doing so many other things. We have decided every sunday is what we call a un plugged day. We listen to NPR in the morning, then either read, or knit,(me) play outside, bake etc etc etc, and then sometimes cap it off with a board game. We also ended regular tv, and now stream thru a roku, so we watch all sorts of documentaries, kid movies for the 5 yr old, and music on Pandora. We are working on the Facebook monster too.

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