National Day of Unplugging
on March 19th (2010)
on March 4th (2011)
on March 23rd (2012)
the first Friday in March (2013 to 2017)
on March 9th (2018)
the first Friday in March (since 2019)
Reboot in 2010
What did we do with our time before the advent of computers, the internet, and smartphones? How much natural beauty and connection to others do we now miss because of these things? On National Day of Unplugging, people forego technology, such as cell phones and computers, to renew their spiritual and personal lives, by connecting with themselves, their loved ones, and their communities.
National Day of Unplugging is the creation of Reboot, "a nonprofit organization that aims to reinvent the cultures, traditions, and rituals of Jewish life." The day came out of their Sabbath Manifesto, which is "a project that is encouraging hyperconnected and frequently frantic people to re-embrace the ancient beauty of a day of rest." The observance of the day lasts for 24 hours and begins at sundown on the day of which it starts. Prior to observing, participants may go on the day's website and pledge to unplug. They will then receive a toolkit that consists of activity guides, conversation starters, and "I UNPLUG TO___" signs. They can also host an event to bring people together to unplug, or organize kids to unplug, whether they be their own children or students.
How to Observe National Day of Unplugging
National Day of Unplugging begins at sundown and lasts for 24 hours. As this is the case, there is time to prepare today before refraining from technology starting tonight. You could take the pledge to participate, and download the toolkit, or you could just download the "I UNPLUG TO___" posters. After doing so, you could share with others why you are going to unplug. There may be some irony in plugging in to share that you will be unplugging, but remember, you will soon be away from technology, and this is a good way to encourage others to participate.
Not only could you plan on unplugging on your own, but you could also plan to unplug with your company or coworkers, or with your children or students in a classroom. You could also sign up to host an event and invite anyone you'd like, or search for other events in your area to attend.
If you are observing the day on your own, spend it by meditating and reflecting. Perhaps you could take a long hike in a secluded area to clear your mind. Other ideas could be to read a book or spend the day cooking using old recipes. There are many things you could do with others on the day as well. Playing board games, taking a group hike, or having a dinner party are all good ideas. Some ideas that the creators of the day suggest include avoiding commerce, connecting with loved ones, nurturing your health, getting outside, finding silence, and giving back.