Connect with the Real World: National Day of Unplugging
By: Ryan O'Bleness
March 1, 2016
As Technology becomes increasingly more advanced, the more it becomes a staple of our lives. Sometimes we are so entrenched in our electronic devices that we are not engaged with what is happening right before our eyes. I’m guilty of that. Due to this, National Day of Unplugging was created by the fine folks of an organization called Reboot. It runs from sundown-to-sundown this Friday, March 4 and Saturday, March 5.
“We established the National Day of Unplugging in 2010 because we recognized that people are tired of always being plugged in,” Dina Mann, national marketing and outreach manager at Reboot, said. “The expectation that you are always reachable, that you will respond immediately to that beeping, buzzing and ringing of texts, emails and phone calls has created a society of people who are on edge and overwhelmed.”
The initiative stems from Jewish traditions and is an outgrowth of the Sabbath Manifesto, which constantly reminds people to slow down by embracing its principles. The National Day of Unplugging is open to anyone who would like to participate and is aimed at the idea of connecting with the people around you instead of handheld devices – crazy idea, right? Well, there is plenty going on in metro Detroit this weekend that can keep us entertained and engaged.
What about a good, old-fashioned board game? In Plymouth, 3&Up offers more than 1,100 board games and is an “electronic free zone.” Admission is a mere $5 for 90 minutes and it is a perfect setting to reconnect with friends and family.
Reading a book is still a thing. Maybe check out a local book store like Nicola’s Books in Ann Arbor or The Books Connection in Livonia. Get the whole family involved by reading to your children, or have your own family book club.
Try making a meal with loved ones. Cooking with friends or family can be a fun (or funny), engaging experience. Get fresh ingredients from local grocery stores like Johnny Pomodoro’s in Farmington Hills or Vince and Joe’s Gourmet Market in Shelby and Clinton Townships.
If you’re looking for more of a night out on the town, think about attending a concert or show. Check out the event section on “In the D.” If you and your group of friends enjoy music and the arts or shows, this will be a good way to bond without having your face in your phone – even if you’re not able to talk to each other during the music.
There is a list of unplugging resources online, and in fact, if you sign the pledge to unplug, you will be sent a cell phone sleeping bag. There is also The Friday App, which reminds you to unplug on Friday at sunset.
Basically, try spending time with your family. Have a conversation with your friend without simultaneously scrolling your social media apps or just disconnect from technology and connect with your surroundings. You can do it.