There’s a movement afoot. The National Day of Unplugging is here to help us take a break of electronics. It’s now an official “crazy” holiday to be celebrated on the second Friday of March. The “holiday” is to be celebrated from sundown on Friday to sundown on Saturday. Think it’s easy?
The National Day of Unplugging was created by Reboot, a nonprofit Jewish community that was originally established in 2003. You don’t need to be Jewish (or religious at all) to participate. The idea behind the day was to challenge people to keep their electronic devices unplugged and unused for 24 hours in order to give themselves the chance to take a break and spend time relaxing with family, friends, or alone. Reboot believes that such time taken to “reboot” our systems will make us happier, more content with our lives, and more aware of the things that matter.
Who isn’t increasingly connected to the world around you via your smartphone, tablet, WiFi access, and the Internet? We are now able to be connected to the entire world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. We’re offered endless possibilities of communications, news, games, history, and so much more.
However, there are also times in our lives when we seem to forget just how necessary it is to step back from our digital devices and other gadgetry. Perhaps we can just perform “the ancient art of speaking with people around us and observe the world that is all around us” Think about how much we could help the environment by deciding to set our electrical equipment aside every now and then and just meet up with the people we’re endlessly e-chatting with for a coffee.
How can you celebrate? Simply, all you’re required to do is disconnect from the electronic world which has come to define every waking moment of our lives. Power down the laptop, leave the smartphone at home, and avoid email for twenty-four hours. Instead, take a walk in a local park, and don’t just rush through the park to get it over with, either.
Go have a cup of coffee with a friend during which you talk about every issue that comes to mind, the large and the small, because these are the things that life is made of, all of them. Of course, don’t take your phone out to text while nodding absent-mindedly, as that would defeat the entire purpose of the outing. Will Starbucks see a bump in in-person lattes on Saturday the 10th?