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National Day of Unplugging Begins Today at Sundown

3/4/2011 12:00:00 AM

Tags: National Day of Unplugging, technology free, Reboot, diy project, candles

Robyn Griggs Lawrence thumbnailMy world is online. I post blogs by day (and sometimes night) and communicate with my colleagues and friends via email, Facebook and Twitter. I bring my iPad to bed with me. I’m grateful for my Internet connection, which allows me to work from home (even from my bed) and forge far-flung connections that would otherwise be impossible. But sometimes at the end of the day I realize that I’ve been a communication machine—and none of it has been direct. I know a lot of people only as Twitter avatars or LinkedIn buddies. I worry (too much) that I’ll make a terrible public mistake in this post-first/think-second world. Some days—especially toward week’s end—I feel like a slow, old person thrown into a don’t-blink world.

Tonight, I will unplug.

National Day of Unplugging (NDU) begins today at sundown. For 24 hours, Reboot, an organization that wants to reinvent Jewish traditions, challenges people of all faiths (or no faith) to turn off their smartphones, laptops and televisions and observe a technology-free Sabbath. Reboot’s Sabbath Manifesto offers 10 principles to help ease us into this resting period (which, to be honest, does scare me a bit).

  1. Avoid technology
  2. Connect with loved ones 
  3. Nurture your health 
  4. Get outside 
  5. Avoid commerce
  6. Light candles 
  7. Drink wine 
  8. Eat bread 
  9. Find silence 
  10. Give back 

“People are craving a discrete sanctioned moment in time to unplug from technology,” says Reboot executive director Lou Cove. “They are seeking permission to disconnect without fear of missing an urgent work email or a breaking news story, and to return to what’s most essential in their lives: community, meaning, and belonging.”

Worried about disappearing from your own digital world for that long? Reboot’s “Check Out” app lets smartphone users post messages on Twitter and Facebook announcing when they are unplugging.


To truly unplug, make your own candles. Find out how at 


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