In an age when we constantly need to tweet, share, and post our thoughts, feelings, and encounters, sometimes we need to just get away from technology. Recently, a 5-minute film that advocates just that went viral on YouTube. Gary Turk’s poem explores what could happen if we all just put down our devices and “Look Up” – and the message that has, somewhat ironically, been viewed more than 32 million times.
While putting down our gadgets might be easy in theory, it can be much harder in practice so here are our tips and helpful hints to help you reconnect with real-life.
National Day of Unplugging
Co-created by Shane Hankins, the National Day of Unplugging is the annual event that promotes disconnecting from our digital world for a full 24 hours. “People are very concerned that there’s a dialogue or conversation going on (that they aren’t part of),” says Hankins. “But if you’re closed off to the wider world and you’re closed off to things that you’re not purposely trying to narrowcast to yourself, I think you’re missing out on a lot of opportunity.”
The next National Day of Unplugging will take place in 2015.
Get back to nature
If you’re really invested and think you can handle going tech-free for longer than 24 hours, pack up your gadgets and get out to the great outdoors. Programs like Arizona’s Camp Unplugg’d are founded on this very idea. No cellphones. No service. No notifications. The only call you’ll get, is the call of the wild.
Have you ever been out to a nice restaurant with friends, only to have everyone at the table pull out their phones and start texting/tweeting/posting away? Australian grad student, Alex Haigh, diagnosed this common human condition as “phubbing” – snubbing someone by giving your phone more attention than your company. And he is on a mission to put a stop to it. Check out the Stop Phubbing site and vote to put those phones away.
Not into the Google glasses trend? Why not be a rebel and shield yourself from facial recognition technology? “Anti-Glass” Glasses from The National Institute of Informatics in Japan could help you do just that. And they look damn stylish too.
Pack away your phone
Can’t put your phone away on your own? Let your bag do it for you. According to this list on Mashable, there is a range of ways of forcibly separating your digits from your gadgets ranging from small cages to bags designed to block your cell signal.