National Day of Unplugging urges people to take digital time off - CBS46 News

National Day of Unplugging urges people to take digital time off

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Some say people spend too much time texting and not enough time doing. (Source: JohnnyMrNinja/Wikicommons) Some say people spend too much time texting and not enough time doing. (Source: JohnnyMrNinja/Wikicommons)
An unplugging movement encourages people to go old-school, at least for a day. (Source: MGN photos) An unplugging movement encourages people to go old-school, at least for a day. (Source: MGN photos)

(RNN) – It's amazing the things people try to do while using their smartphones. 

Some find it difficult to disconnect from social media, texting and electronic gadgetry - one in 10 can't disconnect even in the middle of the most intimate of connections. It should come as no surprise, then, that many perceive smartphones are impacting their relationships.

Many people in this busy, 24/7 world have forgotten to find a day to rest.

National Day of Unplugging, which will be celebrated from sundown Friday to sundown Saturday, is designed to help people take time to take time out, to put down their devices and pick up on the world around them.

The National Day of Unplugging has its roots in Judaism's Sabbath observance. However, organizers emphasize that people don't have to be Jewish, or even religious, to participate.

"We increasingly miss out on the important moments of our lives as we pass the hours with our noses buried in our iPhones and Blackberrys, chronicling our every move through Facebook and Twitter and shielding ourselves from the outside world with the bubble of 'silence' that our earphones create," the website noted.

People who pledge to forego digital entanglements can submit pictures of themselves with a poster stating what they plan to do when unplugged.

For instance, one participant stated they plan to unplug to "clear out the nonstop digital dementia." Other plans are much simpler - to daydream, cook, read and relax.

Depending on your location, you don't have to unplug from fun to break the digital umbilical cord. Events are planned in cities such as San Francisco, Los Angeles, Chicago and in Austin, TX, in conjunction with SXSW.

What it lacks in digital technology, Unplug SF plans to make up for in fun. It features live music, arts and crafts, and typewriters. Rules for this digital detox zone include no talk of work, no networking, no digital technology and no use of your real name.

The National Day of Unplugging observance is an outgrowth of the Sabbath Manifesto, which began in 2010 with a group of Jewish artists and creative people. They sought to push back against some of the negative aspects of the digital age by taking a day off each week.

"We welcome you to join us as we carve a weekly timeout into our lives and to continue the momentum of the National Day of Unplugging throughout the year," Sabbath Manifesto stated.

It's in the same spirit as the slow food and slow living movements, both of which seeks to tap into quality experiences rather than quantity by slowing down the pace.

Sabbath Manifesto has developed 10 core principles of the weekly Sabbath observance, all of which are open to adaptation: avoiding technology, connecting with loved ones, nurturing your health, getting outside, avoiding commerce, lighting candles, drinking wine, eating bread, finding silence and giving back.

Another group, Undigitize Me, is working bring awareness to smartphone addiction and also encourages people to go on a digital diet.

Some psychologists consider smartphone addiction a true illness, according to Psychology Today.

However, like the tagline of the iPhone commercial claims, there is an app for that, CNET noted. You can use your smartphone to tell you whether or not you're have an overly dependent relationship with your smartphone.

Perhaps in the wake of these unplugging movements, the typewriter, that old professional writing standby, seems to be making a bit of a comeback, at least in trend-setting areas of the country.

For instance, in Beverly Hills, CA, Ermanno Marzorati, a man who refurbishes typewriters, reports a surge in the demand for his services as compared to a few years ago, according to eNews Channel Africa.

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