NEW YORK (Feb. 18, 2014) – In celebration of the fifth annual National Day of Unplugging (NDU) from sundown Friday, March 7 to sundown, Saturday, March 8, the nonprofit Reboot is asking individuals and families to reconnect with each other by putting down their smartphones, tablets and computers for 24 hours.
Everywhere you look – playgrounds, dinner tables, sidewalks and cafes- people are glued to their phones and tablets, texting and emailing or scrolling through Facebook. Children and loved ones constantly hear, “Just a minute” or a distracted “Uh-huh” as heads are buried into connected devices. This message is reverberating throughout our society: our relationship with technology is taking over our ability to be present in our interpersonal relationships.
“In its fifth year, the National Day of Unplugging is more than a day – it’s become an international movement and a chance for individuals and families to pause and make a conscious choice to connect with the world around them,” said Reboot Executive Director Robin Kramer. “Unplugging from technology gives us the opportunity for face-to-face conversations and to enjoy the outdoors. The NDU offers a welcome respite from the never-ending stream of digital information we are exposed to throughout the year.”
Reboot developed the annual tech detox to remind young, hyper-connected and frequently frantic people to take a regular respite from all things digital.
The National Day of Unplugging recognizes the value and importance of technology in today’s world with the goal of encouraging people to be more mindful of their technology use.
Parenting experts warn that digital distractions are harming interpersonal relationships, hindering youth from developing face-to-face communication skills and teaching children that disappearing into digital devices for endless hours is an appropriate pastime.
Parents and their children are increasingly plugged into multiple digital devices across a variety of platforms including Facebook, Twitter, Snapchat and Instagram. Many toddlers even know how to use an iPhone or iPad before they can put together a full sentence. A recent study by Bridgewater State University found that the number of younger children who own mobile devices is increasing. The Bridgewater State University study found that 83 percent of middle-schoolers, 39 percent of fifth-graders and 20 percent of third-graders have mobile phones.
“Technology has given us unprecedented opportunity to connect and share,” said Randi Zuckerberg, New York Times Bestselling Author of Dot Complicated. “While this is a wonderful thing, we also need to remind ourselves that a life truly well lived, is not a life constantly buried in a smartphone. By being mindful of how we use technology in our daily lives, and by consciously taking time to unplug and invest in ourselves and our most important relationships, we send the message that we respect our personal time, we value our loved ones and that we control our devices, not the other way around. Only then can we truly unlock the best that technology offers us.”
Reboot is offering a package of tips to give families ideas for unplugging and sample activities for facilitating tech free time. To view the list, visit www.NationalDayofUnplugging.
About National Day of Unplugging
The NDU has roots in the Jewish tradition of the Sabbath, but this modern day of rest was developed for people of all backgrounds as a way to bring balance to the increasingly fast-paced way of life and reclaim time to connect with family, friends and our communities. The National Day of Unplugging has resonated around the world with people of all backgrounds, from Catholic to Hindi, Buddhist and Muslim and has been embraced by a range of celebrities including Arianna Huffington, Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan and Pee-wee Herman.
Every generation must grapple with the questions of identity, community and meaning on its own terms. Reboot exists to facilitate that process for this and future generations – providing the tools and methodologies to help ‘reboot’ inherited tradition and make it vital, resonant and meaningful in modern life. Founded in 2002, Reboot engages and inspires young, Jewishly-unconnected cultural creatives, innovators and thought-leaders who, through their candid and introspective conversations and creativity, generate projects that impact both the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds. Reboot has been responsible for producing some of the most influential and innovative Jewish books, films, music, Web sites and large-scale public events of the past five years. These projects include the National Day of Unplugging, Unscrolled, Sukkah City, 10Q, Sabbath Manifesto, Beyond Bubbie, the DAWN Festival and the Idelsohn Society of Musical Preservation. Find out more at: www.rebooters.net
About Randi Zuckerberg
Randi Zuckerberg is a New York Times Bestselling Author, the founder and CEO of Zuckerberg Media, a media and production company, and Editor-in-Chief of Dot Complicated, an online community helping us navigate and “untangle” our wired, wonderful lives. Randi recently released her first books with HarperCollins, The New York Times Best Seller, Dot Complicated, which addresses the multifaceted complications of our socially transparent world, and a children’s picture book, titled Dot. As an early executive at Facebook, Randi created and ran the social media pioneer’s marketing programs and was nominated for an Emmy Award in 2011 for her innovative coverage of the 2010 mid-term elections. Since starting Zuckerberg Media, Randi has produced shows and digital content for BeachMint, the Clinton Global Initiative, Cirque du Soleil, the United Nations, Bravo and Conde Nast, with many other projects in the works.