If you’re reading this, you obviously aren’t taking part in the National Day of Unplugging. Actually, if you’re using a phone or tablet to read this and you don’t end up plugging it in to recharge, you might have found a loophole.
At any rate, beginning sundown March 1 there is a 24-hour period in which it is hoped people will put their devices down and…umm…go outside? Talk to each other with their voices and not through text messages?
Ugh, whose terrible idea was this???
We kid, of course, as going outside isn’t really all that bad (unless you live here in Arizona in the summer when it’s 118° out). The whole point today is for us to take a break from the electronic devices that seem to control our lives.
Just think about how you’d make it through a day without having a screen to look at. Can you even imagine?
If not, that’s why this holiday exists.
The Mother Nature Network jotted down a few signs that we depend too much on technology, and they include things like how nobody seems to know a phone number anymore, failure to live in the moment and a feeling of being naked when you don’t have your phone on you.
Want some more disturbing facts? A post by King University Online revealed that apparently we touch our phones, on average, more than 2,600 times per day, while iPhone owners unlock their devices around 80 times per day.
And before you start feeling proud of yourselves, Android people, the same page says you unlock your gadgets around 110 times a day.
Once unlocked, we all spend about five hours each day browsing with our mobile devices, including 12 percent of adults who do so in the shower. (These people really need to use today to make a clean break from their phones.)
A whopping 75 percent of people admitted to texting while driving at least one time, and an alarming 26 percent of car accidents were attributed to someone using their phone. (Wake up, folks. Seriously. No message is that important. DON’T text and drive!)
This, too, from the Daily Infographic paints a somewhat disturbing, albeit colorful, picture.
So yeah, most of us could stand to unplug a bit.
Of course we all know that’s a difficult thing to do. Many of us rely on our phones to get our jobs done, and others require them in order to keep track of family members and other life events.
That’s why maybe the National Day of Unplugging should be less about totally shunning our devices than understanding how much we have come to rely on them. After all, even if we can’t really get through our day without them — for legitimate reasons — it doesn’t hurt to see the numbers.
Will they help to inspire change? For some, maybe.
Instead of spending an hour perusing social media sites, why not go for a nice hike? Or rather than check emails on the weekend, go out and fly a kite, play a board game, or check something off the to-do list. Or maybe actually just talk to the friend, loved one, or co-worker sitting right next to you instead of using IM.
Then again, maybe this knowledge will not lead to any changes at all. For some, being connected is too important to give up, and that’s fine. We understand. (After all, if you’re not connected, you couldn’t buy blinds from us, could you? ;-))
But no matter if you ignore your phone for a day or continue to cling to it, information about how much our phones mean to us is not a bad thing. Thomas Jefferson once said “knowledge is power,” so enjoy this power, even if you use it to keep your phone charged.