Thursday, March 8, 2018

The National Day of Unplugging: A Sabbath for Cellphones

Step away from your technology, people!

Yes, digital technology is a great boon and can be a tool for good and it's a transformative power that is reshaping the world we live in.

But not all change is good- you can make an argument that it's also ruining people's lives by making them feel like they have to be always on, always available, work 24/7 and miss out on all the good stuff in life.

There was a recent article in the NY Times where columnist Farhad Manjoo only got his news from printed newspaper for 2 months and the lesson that they learned was that 24/7 can easily lead to panic and paranoia,  slowing down your news intake gives you time to take a break.  READ THAT ARTICLE.

A propos of this, from sundown to March 9 to sundown March 10, the organization Reboot is encouraging you and your family to unplug and give your cell-phone and other technology a rest.

The day has its roots in the idea of the Jewish Shabbat (Sabbath) which is supposed to be a day apart, a day where you don't work, a day which you can dedicate to something other than your workaday world.

Reboot's communications manager Tanya Schevitz was recently quoted as saying "The practice of taking a break is familiar to Jews, but this modern day of rest was developed for people of all backgrounds as a way to bring balance to the increasingly fast-paced way of life and reclaim time to connect with family, friends, and communities."

This project grew out of a larger project called the Sabbath Manifesto, also sponsored by Reboot, which is a way for people to slow down and re-connect.  They've created 10 principles, open to interpretation by you, as a way to be mindful in the ways that technology is intruding on our lives, and to remind us to slow down, once a week at least, to enjoy and savor our friends, family, and community.

Here are the 10 principles they espouse:

1. Avoid Technology 
2. Connect with loved ones.
3. Nurture your health. 
4. Get outside 
5. Avoid commerce. 
6. Light candles. 
7. Drink wine. 
8. Eat bread. 
9. Find silence. 
10. Give back.

If you are planning to unplug, they suggest that you upload a message to your account letting your friends know that you'll be back.  Here are two illustrated messages they created for you to upload to your social media.

To find out more, visit

So, what do you think? Are you going to unplug?

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