We know it’s a problem: too much screen time! Of course, putting those devices down is easier said than done.
“Social media is definitely contributing to a rise in anxiety and depression,” explained Kim Anenberg Cavallo, founder of an app called lilspace.
Cavallo is also the organizer of a yearly event called the National Day of Unplugging, which challenges people to put down their devices for a day.
This year’s event begins sundown, Friday, March 5 and runs through sundown, Saturday, March 6. Ideally, you would give up your electronics for the entire time, but even an hour is a good start.
National Day of Unplugging is “where everyone around the world decides that they’re going to take some time away from technology and most importantly fill their time with fun and meaningful activities,” explained Cavallo.
Problem is, the more we scroll, the tougher it is to say ‘so long.’ So here’s the plan to do it.
First, create other plans for the day – a hike, scenic drive, outdoor workout or pretty much anything that will keep your hands off your phone.
It will be tough, but forget about taking pictures for one day.
Next, find a place for your phone. National Day of Unplugging showed me their “sleeping bag” for phones, which is a cute way to put your device to rest for a bit.
Now, tell friends and family you’ll be off the grid – leave your phone with the ringer on and tell them to call only in an emergency. That way you can leave it in another room.
“It’s really just about putting on Do Not Disturb, putting it in another room and forgetting about it,” explained Cavallo.
With your free time, consider taking up a new skill! National Day of Unplugging is partnering with “yarn bomber” and social media influencer London Kaye, who is crocheting for a cause. Kaye is making “welcome home” signs for at-risk youth and families transitioning out of homelessness and into places to live through the nonprofit Covenant House.
“Crocheting is a way to relax, unplug and make something out of nothing,” said Kaye, who I interviewed via Skype from her hotel room in Washington, DC.
It’s just different enough to keep your brain distracted and you, device free.
“You think if you don’t check your phone you’re going to miss so many things. But in reality, when you pick it up a day later really not much has changed,” concluded Kaye.
Download Kim Cavallo’s free PDF “How-To Effectively Unplug and Go Device-Free For a Day” here. Learn to crochet here.