Just what is the Day of Unplugging? Well, it is no secret that we are increasingly connected to the world around us. Smartphones, tablets, WiFi access and the Internet have enabled us to be connected to the entire world 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, every single day of the year. This offers endless possibilities and has of course widened many people’s horizons immensely by showing them what the world is like thousands of miles away. However, there are also times in our lives when we seem to forget just how necessary it is to step back from out digital devices and other gadgetry and actually perform the ancient art of speaking with people around us and observe the world that is all around us, and not just the pixels forming images of reality on the screen in front of us. Not to mention how much we could help the environment by deciding to set our electrical equipment aside every now and then and just meet up with the people we’re endlessly e-chatting with for a coffee. The Day of Unplugging was created to do all of these things and more.
The History of the Day of Unplugging
The National Day of Unplugging was created by Reboot, a nonprofit Jewish community that was originally established in 2003. However, you do not need to be Jewish, or even religious at all to participate. The idea behind the day was to challenge people to keep their electronic devices unplugged and unused for 24 hours in order to give themselves the chance to take a break and spend time relaxing with family, friends, or alone. This is definitely something that would be useful to everyone, regardless of religion or lack of it. Reboot believes that such time taken to “reboot” or systems will make us happier, more content with our lives, and more aware of the things that matter.
How to Celebrate the Day of Unplugging
Celebrating this day is quite simple. All that one is required to do is to disconnect from the virtual “matrix” which has come to define every waking moment of our lives. So power down that laptop, leave the smartphone at home and avoid email for twenty-four hours. Instead, take a walk in a local park, and don’t just rush through the park to get it over with, either. Take the time to observe the way the squirrels scamper up and down the trees, or the way the water flows in a stream, or how a mother duck looks after her young. Don’t just look at it as if it were a picture in a book, realize that you are a part of it, a part of nature, and appreciate that. Or you could go have a cup of coffee with a friend during which you talk about every issue that comes to mind, the large and the small, because these are the things that life is made of, all of them. And of course do not take your phone out to text while nodding absent-mindedly, as that would defeat the entire purpose of the outing. In this sense, the art of “powering down” can produce some truly relaxing results, so put down that smartphone and take advantage of this truly pleasurable experience.