The fourth annual National Day of Unplugging is upon us, running March 1-2 from sundown to sundown. Go outside! Spend time with the fam! Bake some cookies! Whatever you choose to do, don’t spend the NDU staring at any screens.

How will you spend your National Day of Unplugging?  I’ll probably be right where I always am, attached to my word processor in the leaky basements of GadgeTell, as otherwise they don’t refill my water dish. But I heartily endorse unplugging for everyone who can manage it.

Take the Tech Timeout Challenge during the National Day of UnpluggingIf you’re looking for an even more ambitious tech-detox, sister campaign Tech Timeout is challenging everyone to set aside one hour out of every day for time with loved ones, without the mediation of gadgets. The idea was spawned after the creator’s very familiar and depressing experience with the modern, hyper-connected family:

The idea is the brainchild of Foresters, an international life insurance provider, and BVK Creative Director, Gary Mueller, who came up with the concept while observing the behavior of other families around the pool during a family vacation in Florida.

“It was crazy,” recalls Mueller. “I am sitting there watching a dozen families who should be laughing, swimming and interacting with each other in the pool and instead you have dads on their laptops working, moms on iPads and kids either texting or playing games on their phones. That’s when the idea of launching Tech Timeout was born.”

Take the Tech Timeout pledge for yourself, and if you feel up for a little crusading, encourage everyone you know to do the same.

This article originally appeared on GadgeTell.


  1. Well, this is interesting, and completely unworkable for me. All my books are electronic, so I’d have to spend a day not reading. Bummer! My husband and I play Pathfinder (a D&D-like role-playing game) on the weekends. That’s spending time together and is a good thing, right? Well, where do we keep our characters? On our iPads! Where’s the adventure? On our iPads! Sorry, not wasting the paper to print them out just for this one day.

    Cooking? Another great idea, and we do cook on weekends. Oh wait, where’s our recipes? On our iPads!

    I get the intent. I do. But for practical purposes, I and a lot of other people, use our devices as a way to avoid paper. I’ll interact plenty with family and friends, even without following the unplugging advice.

  2. Odd to have it on Friday, March 1. A weekend might make more sense. But I unplugged for a week last year when I went on a cruise to Mexico. No iphone, no laptop, no iPad, and no Kindle. I brought paper books. Life got along without them.

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