Digital Detox: Checkin Out For A Shaping Youth Founder’s Retreat

unplug 2014Mar. 6, 2014 This year the sundown to sundown National Day of Unplugging is Friday March 7, 2014 through Sat. Mar. 8. Join me? For more digital detox beyond media management and awareness raising, (which is a regular ritual for me) please check out the upcoming Screen Free Week challenge May 5-11, 2014. Definitely “not for beginners”…but always very worthwhile.

More posts on Shaping Youth about the merits of unplugging to re-energize:

Media Unplugged: Clamping the Digital IV Drip

Media Management: Addiction vs. Agency Pt 1 (Shaping Youth)

Media Addiction vs. Agency: The Context of Control Pt2 (ShapingYouth)

Media, Medicos & Critical Thinking: Addiction Series Pt3 (ShapingYouth)

Spring Break Sanctuary: Ideas to Unplug for Screen Free Week

Lessons From Youth on Screen Free Week: Perception vs Reality

Summer Blog Hiatus and Digital Detox

Original National Day of Unplugging Post: Mar 4, 2011 “Retreat, relax, restore” was a tagline I wrote for Sonoma Mission Inn & Spa once upon a time in my ad agency days, and starting today, I’m ditchin’ the digital deluge to do just that for the second annual “National Day of Unplugging” (great video after the jump).

Wired Magazine’s article “Taking a Break From the Net? There’s An App For That” made me grin, because I’m not only ‘going dark’ on my computer and the Facebook and Twitter social media scene, my apps and iPhone will take a snooze, just like the Sabbath Manifesto’s handy little app and ‘sleeping bag’ pouch created as a clever little promo item along with an RFID cell signal blocking fabric kerchief that reads, “My phone is off for you.”

Brilliant way to remind people to “reboot” their lives from tech toys and ‘always on’ access (see my lengthy list of info overload coping tips as well as pertinent research from IORG, an entire site and forum devoted to studying the digital deluge). Feel that exhale? That’s what comes when you unplug devices and reconnect with humanity and the outdoors for a full tilt experiential, face to face experience of being “present in the present” away from the high rev of the 21st century rat-race. Personally? A day’s not enough here.

I’m going dark a full week, not just because I feel the brain drain of distracted living and partial attention deficits moving me off the mark of my mission, but also because I’m ramping up for April, which is my ‘spring break sanctuary digital detox with teens AND a prequel to my ramp up for the massive Screen Free Week tradition April 18-24, 2011 now in the hosting hands of our friends at CCFC.

PC World’s Geek Tech detailed the full list of Ten Principles to follow during the National Day of Unplugging, describing,

“The basic gist: It’s a chance for you to avoid technology, get some fresh air, and get back in touch with friends and family.”

I like the fact that they keep it simple in ‘slow down’ mode, without a bunch of hoops to jump through so that it’s open to interpretation and not holier than thou and inaccessible.

In fact, when I first saw the name, “Sabbath Manifesto” I thought, “Oops, well, I’m not Jewish, and this is a non-religious-based nonprofit, but that concept is secular, pragmatic, peace-inducing and over-rides any inclination NOT to participate!” They even put together an FAQ section for people like me that think too much. (Yah, that’s right, I’m aware of my ‘stuff.’)

I also find it sublime that they use technology to shut down technology (the Smartphone app enables people to announce their departure from the grid so to speak, by texting REBOOT to 738674) much like we use media to deconstruct media. Kindred spirits indeed!

March 4, sundown to March 5 sundown

For those who want to take it a step further, or make it a regular ritual, Sabbath Manifesto is also launching  “Unplug & Give Back” a national partnership with that enables people to engage in “principle #10” “Give Back.” Just zap your zip code into the Volunteermatch site and out pops a public service opp in your own community.

But, er…uh…don’t do that during the National DAY of Unplugging March 4 & 5! Congrats, Sabbath Manifesto crew for a successful press blitz in these major media sources already!

New York Times – An App That Reminds You to Unplug

Boston Globe – Unplug and Reboot

San Jose Mercury News – Religion on your iPhone?

San Francisco Chronicle, Leah Garchik – Tuning Out

CBS Radio, San Francisco – Nonprofit Calls for A Day Away From Technology

Psychology Today – Fasting, Gorging or a Balanced Digital Diet?

CBS Evening News-  Kate Couric’s Notebook:  Unplug

USA Today-  Rediscovering the Sabbath on National Day of Unplugging

Wall Street Journal – Experts Recommend Tech Detoxes

Meanwhile, I’m eager to be on my way for my own unplugged WEEK as I gather thoughts and work on the expansion of my own organization and time management challenges.

So, see you next week, you’ll have plenty of time to peruse these links on info overload (and if you don’t, you need this respite even more than YOU know)…

Also, here’s a promo reminder to PREP FOR SCREEN FREE WEEK NOW as April 18-24 will be here before you know it. I’ll be writing a full post about CCFC’s plans when I return.

Adios amigos, Elvis has left the building. 😉

Kids and Screens–CCFC Fact Sheet

Screen Free Week Organizer’s Kit

American Data Diet/Info Overload:

Consuming Appx 34GB per day & Counting (Mashable)

Overcoming Information Overload? (VentureBeat)

How Info Overloaded ARE You? (Take Beth Kanter’s Quiz) See Yourself?

Tips For Handling Info Overload/Coping:  Too Much Content! (GigaOm)

Information Overload Research Group (IORG) (amazing resource)

Information Overload Day (yes, it has its own day too! who knew?)

Also from IORG:



  1. My hubby worked in a Telco. Last Sunday he destroyed 2373 magnetic tapes. They used 1543 pitabyte of digital storage. They do not how to destroy 323 old computers. My computer has 37 ebook which I am yet to read. Internet has taken some basic delights of our life.

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