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Plug out your screens: Plug in on life

5 mins read

Campaign against tech-dependency

The National Day of Unplugging (NDU) is an annual call for a 24-hour digital detox, aiming to “elevate human connection over digital engagement.” Taking place on March 6, the initiative is run by non-profit membership organization Unplug Collaborative. 

Their aim is to “inspire a healthy life/tech balance.” By joining in on NDU, you become part of a movement reminding people about the dangers of overly relying on technology. And after a year like the last, that reminder is more needed than ever. 

Adults in the UK are now spending more than a quarter of their waking day online, according to studies made by Ofcom. For many people studying or working online, the reverse of that will ring more true. Structuring the day around your screens rather than the other way around, is by now commonplace. 

Credit: Pixabay

Mission impossible, or?
One full day of unplugging, from sunset on March 6, to sunset March 7 – do you have what it takes? It may not sound very challenging, but after a year of being locked in a flat, the main part of your day spent online, it will require hefty habitual changes. 

No scrolling, no workout-tracking, no webinars, no Netflix. No Facebook, no Twitter, no Tiktok, no Youtube. No checking the time, or your messages, the likes on your latest post or what new catastrophe’s taken place in the world. No emails, no snaps and certainly no apps.  

Still think this challenge will be a walk in the park? Then leave your phone at home, go on a physical one without it and witness the instant effects of a screen-less existence! 

Credit: Aine Donnellan

Endless time: Endless opportunity

NDU might mean a whole day’s schedule being wiped clean. This gives room for the exciting – and possibly daunting question – of ways to screen-lessly fill it. Here’s a few ideas of how that could be done:

  • Write a few letters to friends/family and send them by mail: The joy of receiving a handwritten note is unbeatable. 
  • Enjoy nature: Take a long, short or medium long stroll outside. Take in the sounds, the scents, the sights. Feel the wind on your skin, and really soak it all in. 
  • Draw, doodle, paint a rose or a noodle. Lose any self-judgements that may be holding you back: Do it with the aim to make yourself feel good, not to make it look good!
  • Hang out with those around you (if circumstantially possible): Play a board-game, practice an instrument, share stories, laugh. Simply sitting together with others is a true blessing – and is something many lack at the moment: So cherish it if you can.
  • Meditate, yoga, run, dance, box: Whatever it is that you do to get into the flow – go for it. Not only will it make you feel more connected with yourself but also with the world around you.
  • Chill out, relax, wiggle your toes, breath: After all we are called human beings, not human doings for a reason, right?
Credit: Aine Donnellan

Whatever way you choose to spend this day, you will notice two things: What level of addiction you have to your screens, and how much of your day is normally spent online. Two valuable pieces of information to know about yourself, two nuggets you may want to munch on moving forward. If nothing else, you will have spent 24 hours offline: Spiking dopamine-levels await!

For more information about NDU, hop onto the official website: https://www.nationaldayofunplugging.com/

Featured image credit: Photo by KoolShooters from Pexels

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