By Siera Millard
You’re probably well aware of how obsessed society is with their computers and smartphones. You may have even seen some of the problems that arise from this new surge of technology. Maybe you’ve seen someone who bumped into something while using their phone, or maybe you’ve been surprised at those who spend upwards of $1,000 on a new iPhone. Maybe you’ve even done these things yourself. A grave problem arises, however, when this seemingly-innocent problem is placed in a dangerous situation, and the results are disastrous. Sleep deprivation caused by hours spent scrolling on your social media feed, social effects of preferring online conversation to face-to-face interaction, and even car crashes that were caused from texting and driving are just a few of the problems that can arise. All of these stem from the fact that society just can’t put their phones down. Although society recognizes the problem of smartphone addictions as a whole, little is being done to actually solve the problem.
Nearly two-thirds of American adults have smartphones, which is an 8% increase from 2014, only five years ago. The numbers are staggering, and so are those who have begun to speak out against this problem. A growing number of tech geniuses- app designers, website creators, and social media developers- have recently stepped forward to inform the public of the addictive effects that these platforms can have. A collective group of concerned individuals came together to form “The National Day of Unplugging,” a day where you are able to take a break from the never-ending stream of text messages, phone calls, and news updates. On March 1st and 2nd, from sundown to sundown, America will celebrate the National Day of Unplugging. Originally founded by a group of Jewish people who were focused on respecting the Sabbath, the National Day of Unplugging encourages you to get off your tablets, phones, and computers and go outside, read a book, have a face-to face conversation, or learn about something new.
Since its original founding, the National Day of Unplugging has hosted numerous events, even giving community members the opportunity to form events where free materials and resources are provided to individual groups. When you sign up to host an event, the organization will send you free “cellphone sleeping bags” to keep your phones out of sight, as well as fill-in-the-blank cards which state “I Unplug To… .” These cards are the perfect reminder of how important time away from your electronics are. Whether it be increased attention span, more meaningful relationships, deeper sleep, or any other reason, ask yourself: why should you unplug?