Easy Ways to Participate in National Day of Unplugging
"ALMOST EVERYTHING WILL WORK AGAIN IF YOU UNPLUG IT FOR A FEW MINUTES, INCLUDING YOU." - ANNE LAMOTT
When was the last time you truly unplugged? Left your phone at home for the day, stayed off the laptop, went a whole day with your kids off of devices? If you’re like me it’s probably been a while (has that ever even happened???). Well, you’re in luck! This Friday March 1st from sundown until Saturday March 2nd at sundown is National Day of Unplugging - your chance to take a much needed digital break. I know what you’re thinking, ‘it’s impossible to disconnect completely in this day and age.’ Well, my answer to that is even if you can’t unplug all the way (many of us can’t because of work), National Day of Unplugging can still be a great day to take a conscious look at how we use media and give ourselves a little bit of a media break. So here are some tips and ideas to help get you on your way.
Tips for Adults
Prepare ahead of time:
Enlist friends to take on the challenge with you. You can talk about how hard it was on social media the next day!
Make plans with a friend or colleague to do a screen free meal (this can be lunch, dinner, coffee) together. Get a bunch of families together at the park and have a picnic - Phones away - just enjoy each other’s company!
If you live the type of lifestyle where you can put your phone and computer away for the day, great! Find a drawer and tuck them away the night before.
For those of us who simply can’t unplug completely because of work here are some choices:
Choose just 1 device to put away for the day (eg. either phone or computer or no tv)
Choose blocks of time during which you will unplug completely (eg. will not pull out any device until I get to work. Will shut all devices down once work is over. Will eat my meals screen free etc.)
Vow to spend the day off of social media, news and games. (the night before - log out of your social media/news/game apps or put them all in a folder on the last home page of your phone).
Carry a book, journal, knitting, deck of cards, pack of gum with you for the day and when you’re tempted to pull out your phone, grab one of those instead.
Tips For Parents
Make National Day of Unplugging a fun challenge for the whole family to go screen free for the day (other than work/homework) Make plans to do some fun offline activities together!
Some ideas for offline family fun:
Hang out with friends
Make an art project
Go ice skating
Cozy up with some great books and hot chocolate
You’ll likely get a lot of complaining, but that’s ok - it’s just a day afterall and they may be surprised at the fun they end up having without the tablets and phones. Also, remember to do a short reflection with your kids the next day about how it felt to unplug!
Did you find you loved unplugging? Awesome, why stop now?
Other ways to lower your media intake:
Get an app like Moment or use ScreenTime feature to track your phone use and get a full picture of how much you’re using your phone and which apps are a time suck.
Do a spring cleaning of your phone - get rid of any apps you really don’t need - can you check in on your computer instead? If yes, get rid of it.
Choose 1 day/week as a social media free day or an unplugged day
Turn off notifications for every app other than those you really need (eg. text, phone)
Carry a book or a journal around with you as an option other than your phone when in line or at a restaurant.
For more information about National Day of Unplugging and to download tons of cool social media “unplugging” images, posters and “I Unplugged to” 8x10s to use for your insta feed check out: https://www.nationaldayofunplugging.com/
Also, if you do post on social make sure to use #nationaldayofunplugging