Starting Friday March 4 at sundown, many on USENET will turn off their computers and other tech gizmos for the weekend, taking a break from the cyber world into reality.
Such is the lofty goal of National Day of Unplugging 2011, an event designed to help over-connected folks “reclaim time, slow down their lives and reconnect with friends, family, the community and themselves,” according to Sabbath Manifesto, an ongoing project created by Reboot, a non-profit group of Jewish artists.
The project was created by a group of Jewish artists looking for a modern way to observe a weekly day of rest. “We’ve adapted our ancestors’ rituals by carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and get with loved ones,” they said.
Participants are asked not to use their computers, cell phone, or email from sundown Friday March 4 to sundown Saturday March 5.
What will you do without all those distractions? Internet and computer addiction specialist Dr. Hilarie Cash says that you’ll be living.
“Use the day to be contemplative and introspective,” she said. “Make some time for gathering with friends. Make time for whatever have been their pleasures in their lives before they were taken over by USENET.”
Ironically, the backers of the event have created an iPhone, Android and Web apps that can both remind users to shut off their device as well as alert social media connections of why they will be offline.
Although the Sabbath Manifesto project has Jewish origins, Holt said tech addicts of all faiths (or no faith at all) can get something out of the act of unplugging.