National Day Of Unplugging

Published: March 23, 2012

National Day Of Unplugging, This week’s Family Table Talk is also a challenge. Can you — every single one of you — unplug for the next 24 straight hours? That doesn’t mean just taking electronics out of their sockets. Starting tonight, we’re asking you to put away all the gadgetry that connects you to the digital world. Parents, stop checking your email. Kids, you’re done texting. Everyone off Twitter, Angry Birds and, last but not least, Google.

Yes, as part of this challenge, we’re asking you to also keep a diary of everything you have the urge to use the Internet for. Senior editor Lori Fradkin tried to do this last year, and she wrote down 11 things she would have looked up. But, she gained something greater from being offline — peace, quiet, focus…

So why today? Thanks go to The Sabbath Manifesto, a group of Jewish artists who were looking for a more modern way to institute a weekly day of rest. They’ve called March 24th the 3rd Annual National Day of Unplugging — a time to “unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and get with loved ones.”

As of 2010, kids were already spending almost 8 hours a day with an electronic device. Adults feel the onslaught too. Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain says that she “was never quite focused with [her] kids” and knew it had reached a crisis point when she started “tweeting and texting in my dreams.” Now, she unplugs with her family every week (!). Are you ready to try it?

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