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Power down for National Day of Unplugging on March 1

National Day of Unplugging 2013

How bad is your tech addiction?

I’ll confess to mine: Between my desktop computer, my phone, my iPad, and my Kindle Fire, the internet is just a click away during most hours of my day. While I’m not *always* online, and I do have all social media notifications turned off on my devices, I still spend entirely too much time being connected.

And I’m not alone. I see you out at the playgrounds with your kids, staring into your phone, and I see you over there reaching for your phone compulsively, several times an hour.

We’re a wired culture. And while being plugged in may seem really helpful at times, and it may serve to make the world a smaller place sometimes, it can also easily distract us from being present with our family and friends. Instead of interacting with and connecting to real flesh-and-blood humans, it’s all too tempting to Instagram them and share on their Facebook wall.

It’s time to get unplugged for a day. This Friday, March 1st, is the fourth annual National Day of Unplugging. It’s a 24 hour period, lasting from sunset to sunset, when people power down all of their devices. Taking the Pledge and unplugging for a day can serve as a “tech detox” in our overly-connected lives.

What will you do with your time?

“In celebration of the fourth annual National Day of Unplugging (NDU) on March 1, the non-profit Reboot is asking individuals, organizations and schools around the world to publicly share what they do when they’re not using technology.

The “I UNPLUG TO _____” campaign invites people to share their commitment to unplugging by posting photos of what they will do when not using technology to From the lofty — “build houses,” “register people to vote,” “climb a mountain,” “feed the homeless,” — to personal recharging activities like “relax,” “read” or “bond with family,” the NDU encourages individuals and communities to take a digital detox and rediscover the world around them.”

And if your addiction is so bad that you can’t imagine 24 hours without technology or gadgets or the interwebz, never fear. Take a look at The UNDO List, a free service with ideas for conversation topics, readings, local outings and creative endeavors.

Perhaps one day of unplugging isn’t a big deal by itself, but ideally, we would take our own ‘digital sabbath’ on a more regular basis, perhaps once a week, in order to unplug, unwind, and reconnect with our fellow humans.

This Friday could be your chance to begin a new relationship with technology. Unplug.

Derek Markham

Things I dig include: simple living, natural fatherhood, attachment parenting, natural building, unassisted childbirth (homebirth), bicycles, permaculture, organic and biodynamic gardening, vegan peanut butter cookies with chocolate chips, bouldering, and the blues. Find me elsewhere at @NaturalPapa, @DerekMarkham, Google+, or RebelMouse.

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