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March 01, 2011

National Day of Unplugging (NDU) this Friday - Saturday

A Jewish group called Reboot has developed a Sabbath Manifesto, a provisional guide for observing a weekly day of rest.

Making a pitch consistent with the secular Slow Movement (wiki) and downshifting movements (yes there is a slow blogging manifesto), the Sabbath Manifesto is a creative project designed to slow life down in an increasingly hectic world.

The Ten Principles
Avoid technology
Connect with Loved Ones
Nurture Your Health
Get Outside
Avoid Commerce
Light Candles
Drink Wine
Eat Bread
Find Silence
Give Back
Moving beyond advocating a weekly day of rest, they've developed a National Day of Unplugging. From sundown Friday March 4, through sundown Saturday March 5, the NDU calls for a voluntary reduction in technology in accordance with ten principles.

I don't think I'm going to pursue all ten, but I do think it would be good to unplug for a day. I can ride my bike without the GPS and computer. Maybe I'll only answer cellphone calls from my children. Loved ones, health, outside, drink, eat, silence - I could try those. Commerce is maybe something for another year. Maybe I'll be a Reformed Luddite.

Reboot isn't about a rejection of technology; it's just a call for a day off. How do technogeeks manage to take a day off?

Remarkably, there's an App for that. Srsly. The NDU App sends you reminders of the approaching Unplugging, emails your contacts that you'll be off the grid for 24 hours, and interrupts your reminder bells and whistles during the NDU.

In addition to the App, there are accessories. You can get a cellphone sleeping bag to keep the glow of the screen from distracting you. There's also a phonekerchief made out of a cellphone-coverage-shielding fabric that you can wrap around your phone.

Listen, it couldn't hurt.


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