A couple of months ago, I thought about challenging others to disconnect and googled “unplugging day.” To my delight, I discovered that someone else had not only thought of it, but put it into motion beautifully and thoroughly. The National Day of Unplugging is organized by a group called Sabbath Manifesto—and happens this year from March 23rd at sundown to March 24th at sundown.
The Off Switch—as with other things in my life like vegetarianism—is not something I generally proselytize or push upon others. Indeed, I keep this blog to chronicle my personal experience and maintain a Facebook page for others that are interested, but I don’t make a habit of telling others how to live their lives. If your way works for you, super.
But this National Day of Unplugging does present a good opportunity to speak up and speak out and to encourage others to give it a whirl. As I’ve said many times offline and off, pushing away from the incessant connectedness and willful distractions of technology has been an immensely rewarding and liberating journey. I am by no means wandering the wilderness, but I have managed to customize my digital life in a way that feels balanced and right. Even still, I’m looking forward to 24 hours with no phone or iPad, followed by a camping trip the following weekend. After SXSW, I need it!
So to anybody reading, I’ll offer this: whether your cell phone, social media, and Internet patterns are a burden or an enjoyable part of your day, I’d like to suggest that you owe it yourself to just try a day without it. If for no other reason that it’s important to remember what that’s like, you should participate.