While we spend a lot of our time online, we do realize the significance of shutting down. Today we are doing so by celebrating the fifth annual National Day of Unplugging. You can also participate, simply unplug from all your gadgets from sundown on March 7 to sundown on March 8 and fill out this sign to share why you want to unplug.
In celebration of the fifth annual National Day of Unplugging (NDU) from sundown Friday, March 7 to sundown, Saturday, March 8, the nonprofit Reboot is asking individuals and families to reconnect with each other by putting down their smartphones, tablets and computers for 24 hours.
Everywhere you look - playgrounds, dinner tables, sidewalks and cafes- people are glued to their phones and tablets, texting and emailing or scrolling through Facebook. Children and loved ones constantly hear, Just a minute or a distracted Uh-huh as heads are buried into connected devices. This message is reverberating throughout our society: our relationship with technology is taking over our ability to be present in our interpersonal relationships.
"In its fifth year, the National Day of Unplugging is more than a day - it's become an international movement and a chance for individuals and families to pause and make a conscious choice to connect with the world around them, said Reboot Executive Director Robin Kramer. Unplugging from technology gives us the opportunity for face-to-face conversations and to enjoy the outdoors. The NDU offers a welcome respite from the never-ending stream of digital information we are exposed to throughout the year."
Reboot developed the annual tech detox to remind young, hyper-connected and frequently frantic people to take a regular respite from all things digital.
The National Day of Unplugging recognizes the value and importance of technology in todays world with the goal of encouraging people to be more mindful of their technology use.
Parenting experts warn that digital distractions are harming interpersonal relationships, hindering youth from developing face-to-face communication skills and teaching children that disappearing into digital devices for endless hours is an appropriate pastime.
Parents and their children are increasingly plugged into multiple digital devices across a variety of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Many toddlers even know how to use an iPhone or iPad before they can put together a full sentence. A recent study by Bridgewater State University found that the number of younger children who own mobile devices is increasing. The Bridgewater State University study found that 83 percent of middle-schoolers, 39 percent of fifth-graders and 20 percent of third-graders have mobile phones.
Technology has given us unprecedented opportunity to connect and share, said Randi Zuckerberg, New York Times Bestselling Author of Dot Complicated. While this is a wonderful thing, we also need to remind ourselves that a life truly well lived, is not a life constantly buried in a smartphone. By being mindful of how we use technology in our daily lives, and by consciously taking time to unplug and invest in ourselves and our most important relationships, we send the message that we respect our personal time, we value our loved ones and that we control our devices, not the other way around. Only then can we truly unlock the best that technology offers us.
Reboot is also offering a package of tips to give families ideas for unplugging and sample activities for facilitating tech free time. To view the list, visit www.NationalDayofUnplugging.com. Additionally, individuals and families are invited to participate in the I/WE UNPLUG TO _____ campaign to publicly share what they like to do when not using technology.
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