The National Day of Unplugging is this Friday, March 5, 6pm – Saturday, March 6, 6pm, twenty four hours, screen and TV free. Despite being an activist of any movement around unplugging, digital balance, digital minimalism, device free vacations, the “Attention Resistance” and humane tech, I have never unplugged for 24 hours in an uncontrolled environment.
I have unplugged during yoga and meditation retreats, while travelling in the remote mountains of Armenia and on airplanes. Oh how I miss airplanes. I am nostalgic about my most recent round-trip, Toronto – Copenhagen, which occurred in January 2020, more than 13 months ago. I believe it is the very first year in my entire lifetime that I have not been on an airplane. I digress. This article is not about THAT.
The airplane is a unique, quiet container, conducive to reflection, staring out the window at clouds, dozing off, reading, journaling and eating mindfully. I have never accessed the internet on an airplane. I don’t use my phone or laptop to listen to music, work or watch films. If I do watch an inflight movie, I am highly selective, choosing a foreign film I would normally not have access to. Oh, and you have to stay mostly still. You can’t busily rush about somewhere.
It is not that difficult to unplug in the company of others or where wifi is not accessible. I believe it may prove challenging to unplug in my own house! This is how I will prepare.
I have already had the conversation with my husband about his willingness to unplug with me. I am happy to report he is joining me, which obviously makes this effort a lot easier. I am curious to experience a full 24 hours without CNN on a big screen TV, albeit often muted.
Your Alarm. Take inventory of what you need wifi for….like the alarm system. We will refrain from using our phone app to control the alarm, opting only to use the in-house panel to control it. This decision is key as we will be setting all devices to airplane mode.
Your Alarm Clock. You are waking up on Saturday, so likely you don’t even need an alarm. If you do, now is the time to buy an old fashioned alarm clock.
Food. My use of recipes is normally wifi dependent. Thus, I will be perusing my physical cookbooks instead of the Internet. In case we want to order take-out, I am noting down the phone numbers of restaurants who take phone orders so we won’t get stuck there.
Family Communication. I am informing close family members that we will only be available on the land-line or cellular. I may have to remind them what our phone number is! We are all in the habit of using Signal these days.
Other Communication. I will post unplugged banners on social media accounts and provide an automated message on email accounts, urging others to unplug as well.
Meditation. As a user of Insight Timer, I am still able to access the timer function in airplane mode. I assume the other meditation apps have a similar option?
Laptop Prep. I will turn the laptop on airplane mode as well. In addition, I will close all applications except GoogleDocs in case I decide to write something. However, the plan is to be laptop free.
Music. I think I can live without Spotify for a day. In an emergency, there is an old fashioned radio in the house I can tune in to.
I don’t think I will have time for all of these activities in just 24 hours. That will hopefully encourage me to continue unplugging once a month.
Join us for the first #Canadian National Day of #Unplugging
on March 5th-6th. Details can be found here: https://lu.ma/wgv81z2c