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Step away from the tech -- just for a day

March 23, 2012|By Michelle Maltais
  • University students who faced a sudden Internet and media blackout began to display withdrawal symptoms during a survey conducted by the University of Maryland.
University students who faced a sudden Internet and media blackout began… (Susan Moeller and Rebecca…)

Can you go for a day without your tech tools and toys? The third annual National Day of Unplugging starts at dusk today, so get in all your iPad gazing, mouse clicks, text taps and screen pinches before dusk.

Organizers call the National Day of Unplugging "a respite from the relentless deluge of technology and information." The intentional digital blackout goes from sundown Friday to sunset Saturday.

Sound familiar? It's in line with the Jewish Sabbath. That's by design.

The nonprofit Jewish group Reboot developed the movement to help people slow down from the fast-paced, always-on, always-distracted way of life and maybe look their loved ones in the eyes for a minute. (You know you're really only glancing at them when you can pull your gaze off of your little screen or when you're taking a picture of them with your smartphone.)

Of course, to get the details of the day, you've got to be connected -- read this post online, go to a Facebook page, sign a digital pledge. But we'll overlook the irony for now.

So far, almost 1,500 people have pledged to the big turn-off on Causes.com.

Frankly, if the thought of detaching yourself from your cellphone, computer or Xbox elicits a panic deep in your bones, maybe it is time for a break.

A survey last summer found that more than half of Americans would rather give up chocolate, alcohol and caffeine for a week before parting temporarily with their phones. That survey also found that a third of respondents would rather give up sex for a week than their cellphone. (If that's you, seriously, step away from the phone.)

Shut it off, power down, walk away -- I dare you.

If I actually commit to this -- and I'm not saying I will -- I'd probably have to speak my tweets and Facebook updates aloud all day to keep from getting the shakes. But if I do disconnect for a day, at least I'll be up and running again in time to use my Bible app and tweet at church on Sunday.
 
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Original source: Step away from the tech -- just for a day

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