Unplug Tonight, March 4th

If you're anything like me, you're constantly battling to maintain your focus on the people and ideas you love against the onslaught of electronic information from your phone, email, Twitter account and Facebook stream. As a species we've evolved quickly to become proficient in all things electronic, but we've been slow to develop the cultural tools to manage those skills and tools. Tonight, March 4, is the beginning of the National Day of Unplugging, a 24-hour period during which people are voluntarily shutting off their gadgets and committing to a day of reflection and rejuvenation.

The national day of unplugging is the outgrowth of the Sabbath Manifesto, a list of 10 principles for what you might do during a day without your iPhone, Android or Blackberry.

The Ten Principles of the Sabbath Manifesto:

  1. Avoid Technology
  2. Connect with loved ones
  3. Nurture your health
  4. Get Outside
  5. Avoid Commerce
  6. Light Candles
  7. Drink Wine
  8. Eat Bread
  9. Find Silence
  10. Give Back

The idea of a sabbath exists in many of the world's religions, so a pause from technology is nothing new. But it's a good chance to start building out your own set of personal technology practices. I recently started wearing a watch, a simple way to reduce the number of times I checked my iPhone. What's one thing that you can do regularly to keep your use of technology in balance with the rest of your life? 

Presented by

Adam Werbach is the co-founder of sharing startup Yerdle, formerly the chief sustainability officer for Saatchi & Saatchi and the president of the Sierra Club. He is the author of Strategy for Sustainability: A Business ManifestoHe lives in San Francisco and Bolinas, California.

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. If you’re not already logged in you will be asked to log in or register with Disqus.

Please note that The Atlantic's account system is separate from our commenting system. To log in or register with The Atlantic, use the Sign In button at the top of every page.

blog comments powered by Disqus

Video

How a Psychedelic Masterpiece Is Made

A short documentary about Bruce Riley, an artist who paints abstract wonders with poured resin

Videos

Why Is Google Making Skin?

Hidden away on Google’s campus, doctors are changing the way people think about health.

Video

How to Build a Tornado

A Canadian inventor believes his tornado machine could solve the world's energy crisis.

Video

A New York City Minute, Frozen in Time

This short film takes you on a whirling tour of the Big Apple

Video

What Happened to the Milky Way?

Light pollution has taken away our ability to see the stars. Can we save the night sky?

More in Technology

Just In