Tune out, turn off on National Day of Unplugging

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Sign off Facebook. Send your last tweet. Shut down your computer. Turn off your phone. Disconnect from the Internet and engage with the real world.

It sounds terrifying, but don’t worry, you won’t be alone. The National Day of Unplugging begins at sundown to encourage people to power down their devices and take a break from tech.

It’s the ultimate challenge: see if you can last 24 hours without documenting your life on the Internet. If you eat a gorgeous meal without taking an Instagram photo, did it really exist? If you say something funny without being real-life retweeted, did anyone hear it?

Whose idea is this!?

National Day of Unplugging is an offshoot of the Sabbath Manifesto, a project that pushes for a traditional day of rest each week (hence the sundown-to-sundown timing), or at least as close to rest as we can achieve in today’s chaotic world.

The Sabbath Manifesto’s 10 principles are ideas most of us can get behind: Get outside, light candles, drink wine, eat bread.

But the Manifesto’s No. 1 principle, avoid technology, is the most challenging. And maybe 24 hours isn’t exactly feasible for people who live far from their families or need their phones for maps or public transit info, but the idea of disconnecting from the Internet and reengaging with the physical world is one that deserves consideration.

The group is hosting Digital Detox events in San Francisco and Los Angeles on Friday evening which require attendees to surrender their smartphones at the door and enjoy “device-free drinks.” Imagine: A bar where people aren’t busy Facebooking about how social they are (you know, instead of actually socializing). That would be refreshing.

Fill in the blank and upload your sign before you power down.

In a quirky twist, National Day of Unplugging’s website also asks people who plan to participate to download a sign that says, “I unplug to ______.”

Hundreds of people have filled in the blank with their own reasons for unplugging and photographed themselves holding their signs.

It perfectly encapsulates the existential crisis of postmodern humanity: If you disconnect from the Internet for a day without telling your social networks, are you a real person anymore? Let us know if you try it.

This story, "Tune out, turn off on National Day of Unplugging" was originally published by TechHive.

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