Take Time to Unplug

Can you – or your kids – not make it through dinner without checking for texts or email? Do you have trouble tearing your children away from video games or television?

Then the National Day of Unplugging may be for you. Tens of thousands of people throughout the country are expected to disconnect from their digital devices for 24 hours, from sundown on March 6 through sundown on March 7, for the sixth annual event.

“We have reached a tipping point where technology has invaded every aspect of our lives and is turning our friends and family into proverbial third wheels,” says Robin Kramer, executive director of Reboot, a national Jewish nonprofit that created the day of digital detox in 2010.

Need help putting your phone on hold? Here are some tips on unplugging and technology alternatives from Reboot’s family toolkit. For more ideas, visit nationaldayofunplugging.com/for-families/. For a list of Bay Area events, visit nationaldayofunplugging.com/events.


• Make a “sleeping bag” out of fabric or an old sock for cell phones, iPods, video game controls and more to use during dinner, at the park or any time you want to resist the temptation of technology.


• Have family members hide each other’s tech devices at the start of the 24-hour period and play “hot and cold” to find them at the end.


• Create a scavenger hunt by hiding board games, books or ideas for other non-tech activities you can do together.


• Make a family tree and share family history, stories and memories.


• Go for a long walk in a park. Have a nature scavenger hunt using a guidebook or pictures of items for kids to find and collect.


• Bake cookies and deliver them to your local police or fire department.


• Enjoy the silence by meditating, playing charades, expressing yourselves by making silent faces or eating a meal in silence.


Janine DeFao


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