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Take a Tech Detox for the Kids

I am taking the Causes.com pledge to unplug for the National Day of Unplugging for my 3-year-old. I already see how much my use of technology has impacted him. He walks around the house saying, “Where’s my iPhone? I have a call in a minute.” And he has two (fake) phones he carries around in his pockets in case an “important call” comes in. I know all too well whom he is modeling.

While I have a full-time job that very much involves technology and I cannot take the six-month digital detox that I envy Professor Jennifer Rauch for, I certainly can unplug for 24 hours on the National Day of Unplugging (NDU) on March 23-24, 2012, and work to make it a weekly ritual.

I’ve already been practicing. Yes, sometimes it’s a pain not to have my phone on me (it took me a little longer during a recent unplugged weekend to find the Lego store with my son without Siri giving me directions), but it has yet to become an emergency situation. Remember the days when the hostess at a restaurant would come to tell you at your table that you had a phone call from home? Perhaps not as convenient as an immediate connection but how many times have you really had the babysitter call you while you were out on a date with a true emergency. It’s never happened to me in my nine years as a parent. My last text from our babysitter was that my son was asking if he could watch a show. The answer was “no” before I left home and it was still “no” then. I doubt she would have called the restaurant to ask about that.

Most importantly, what my kids and my husband get from me when I’m unplugged is well worth any inconvenience that comes along with it.

Shutting off technology allows people the time to pause and realize what they are missing when they are Facebooking, Tweeting, texting and emailing. Although we are creating connections online, we are missing out on tuning in to our families, friends and the world around us.

The NDU’s goal of unplugging to encourage a healthy and balanced lifestyle is rooted in the ancient notion of a day of rest. Although the NDU was inspired by a group of young Jews looking for a way to reinvent the Jewish Sabbath, it is intended for all people regardless of background — we believe that everyone needs a day of rest!
The non-profit create-tank, Reboot, developed the annual tech detox to encourage young, hyper-connected, and frequently frantic people to take a respite from all things digital.

We hope you’ll consider signing off from technology for the National Day of Unplugging, sunset March 23 to sunset March 24, 2012. You can sign up for the movement at causes.com/unplug and receive ideas for what to do when you are unplugged at theundolist.com.

About Reboot
: Every generation must grapple with the questions of identity, community and meaning on its own terms. Reboot exists to facilitate that process for this and future generations – providing the tools and methodologies to help ‘reboot’ inherited tradition and make it vital, resonant and meaningful in modern life. Founded in 2002, Reboot engages and inspires young, Jewishly-unconnected cultural creatives, innovators and thought-leaders who, through their candid and introspective conversations and creativity, generate projects that impact both the Jewish and non-Jewish worlds. Reboot has been responsible for producing some of the most influential and innovative Jewish books, films, music, Web sites and large-scale public events of the past five years. These projects include the National Day of Unplugging, Sukkah City, 10Q, Sabbath Manifesto, Beyond Bubbie, the DAWN Festival and the Idelsohn Society of Musical Preservation. Find out more at: www.rebooters.net


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