Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

National Day of Unplugging is Coming Up. Are You Up to Celebrate?

March 1st is National Unplugging Day, a day to power off phones, computers and any other device that needs plugging in and a strong connection. The project is the brainchild of Sabbath Manifesto who promote the idea of a, gulp, weekly technological break or Sabbath.

We know that for some this idea does not sound too monumental. You rarely check your phone, inbox and love the feel of paper on your fingers. For some of us though–and this author includes himself in this category–the actual implications of unplugging are daunting: We only have cell phones, our work centers around our computers, we read on eReaders, our media is streamed. To detach ourselves for even a day sounds like a big deal.

There is a growing body of evidence that our hyper-connected world is taking a toll on our happiness. Last year, a Standford University study found that young girls who are heavy multimedia users are less happy and less socially comfortable than their offline peers. There is other evidence to suggest technology use is making us a more distracted society. One survey reported in the Wall Street Journal found that 60% of workers spend over an hour of every workday on technological distractions. (Note: There are also studies with positive correlations between technology and happiness).

Either way, if you’re in the camp who: A. are regular users of technology, and B. think that cutting back on heavy use of technology might not be a bad thing, then laying off technology for one day a year shouldn’t sound like a stretch. When that day is through, you can evaluate if a weekly Sabbath is in your future.

If you’re not sure what you’ll do, you can check out Sabath Manifesto’s Ten Principles, which are no-tech pastimes to fill the hours otherwise texting, tweeting and so forth. They are:

  1. Avoid technology.
  2. Connect with loved ones.
  3. Nurture your health.
  4. Get outside.
  5. Avoid commerce.
  6. Light candles.
  7. Drink wine.
  8. Eat bread.
  9. Find silence.
  10. Give back.

In other words, this is not a day to go to the movies and shopping (we’re sure these principles can be adapte for gluten-intolerant and non-drinking folks).

The fact of the matter–despite what we might think–is that the world will not fall apart if we’re offline for a day–especially if we give our wives/husbands, bosses a heads up. What do you say? We’re in. Are you?

If you’re already observing a tech Sabbath, we’d love to hear how it’s going.