On National Day of Unplugging, 6 Great Reasons To Log Off and Check In

Friday night marks the beginning of the National Day of Unplugging, so if you’re reading this on a phone, tablet, laptop, or any other Internet enabled device, you’re doing it wrong. Created by the Reboot network, organizers seek to encourage people "to sign the Unplug pledge and start living a different life: connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child." Yes, we do need the reminder, and it is sad.

I love videos of sneezing pandas as much as the next fool, but the World Wide Web is a double-edged sword. For something that connects the human race, it's also surprisingly good at making us feel more and more isolated. Here are the best reasons to unplug today. Ermahgerd, don’t worry – all your favorite memes will still be there tomorrow.


We all do it, but stalking your ex (or their new flame and their dog) might be preventing you from moving on with your life. Take the night off from constantly refreshing their profile to do something that loves you back. That, or go old-school and play a boombox outside their window.

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The last time I flew from the United States to Australia, I was actually looking forward to the enforced phone-free 17 hours. It wasn't just because I was sick of seeing my crush’s grammatically incorrect status updates — I'm trying to like you, dude. Help me out — but because my wrist was sore from all that scrolling.

As it turns out, reports of phone-related repetitive strain injury and carpel tunnel syndrome are on the rise. RSI aside, you also run the risk of knocking yourself out by dropping your phone on your face when lying in bed playing Flappy Bird, or falling off a bridge while texting.


Intellectually, we know that people’s online personas (and flawless skin) are a complete crock — just look at your own updates and tell me you didn’t carefully construct your last Tweet or Instagram post. But that still doesn’t stop us from comparing our lives to others and feeling like we’re not as sociable, successful, or well liked enough. Take some time today to cut it out. You're fabulous.


In the time it took me to write up to this point, I checked Twitter 12 times, browsed Spotify for 10 minutes, logged on to Instagram to see if anyone had liked my last post, and re-read an email I sent to a friend about our plans tonight. In the time it took me to write that sentence, I checked Twitter again. Twice. Sure, I'm up to date with everything that’s (not) happening in the world, but my productivity is at an all time low, and my attention span is well and truly fried. Time to unplug for a day and recharge.


I'm one of those idiots who’s on Tumblr right up until I go to bed, and who checks her email on her phone at 4 a.m. because I’ve woken up and can’t get back to sleep. It’s bad. I know that shiny little rectangle is doing serious damage to my circadian rhythms, and that I’d sleep much better if I just read a book instead of reblogging inspirational quotes 'til 1am, but, you know, paper cuts. Let's try to get a good night's sleep, for once.


Don't be alarmed, but that sound you hear is another human talking to you. And what you're doing is interacting with them. And oh, look at that, you seem to be touching some skin. Sorry, no, you can't scroll down their body clicking the parts you like … Unless, of course, you ask them first and they grant you permission to access your current location.