Don Hornsby

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Striving To Unplug

Striving To UnplugThe weekend is just about here for all of us in the United States. And for those of us who are "working for the weekend," we will be soon leaving our offices and heading out to enjoy all that we have planned for the next two days.

On the other hand, there are those of us who will keep the momentum going into the next two days. The main reason is that we just have too much on our plates. 

It seems that there is more to contend with now than in previous times. We live in a world where our electronic gadgets, as remarkable as they are, demand our complete attention constantly. And let’s be honest, there are more than a few of us who are itching to check our Facebook wall, look at our Twitter feed, or just scan a few Web pages while pretending to "just reading this article." 

What is this feeling telling us about our modern day existence? 

I found it interesting that March 2, 2019, has been designated as National Day of Unplugging. It is a day set aside for people to power down all of their electronic devices for 24 hours. One interesting point was that the event follows sundown to sundown schedule. In other words, the participants are to observe the day from sundown on Friday evening of March 1, 2019, to the sundown on Saturday, March 2, 2019. It should not be surprising that the day was begun by the Jewish organizations Reboot and Sabbath Manifesto.  

A recent article focusing on the National Day of Unplugging contained some interesting insights, statistics, and information about our addiction (or slavery) to our electronic friends.  

In 2011, just 35 percent of people owned a smartphone. Now about 77 percent do. And they use them constantly, according to a 2018 Pew Research Center study. The top 10 percent of users tap, swipe or click their phones 5,427 times a day and most start doing that right when they wake up. Almost 70 percent of adults sleep with their phones by the bed. About 85 percent of smartphone users check their phones while talking with friends or family.

There are signs all around us that show many of us are addicted to the Internet. The results from a 2012 survey revealed that 61% feel addicted to the Internet and are unable to quit browsing. The study showed that women have a tendency to lean more towards addiction to the Web than men (64% of women as opposed to 55% of men). The use of the Web has grown at a rapid pace. The same report shared that roughly half of the U.S. population used the Internet ten years ago. At this time, the statistics are four out of five people are connected to the Web.

I don’t know about you, but I can understand why a movement to unplug has been established today. 

But I have to wonder if one day a year is enough?

The intent behind the establishment of the National Day of Unplugging was to encourage the participants not to make this a one-off event. According to Reboot, the day is intended to be a starting point to help people of all ages to embrace a healthy lifestyle by regularly setting aside unplugged time.

What would be the benefits of setting aside one day a week for rest and digital detoxing?

As leaders, we are a limited resource. It's essential that we take regular breaks to recharge our bodies, refocus on our priorities, and reflect on our lives and purpose.

Don't be afraid to unplug.


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