I know this blog is horribly ironic, speaking as we are about the benefits of not being connected with our electronics for a whole day and here I’m blogging about its importance and benefits. Mea culpa.
However, in my defence – dee- fence! – I am posting this ahead of the day itself, so, there’s that. *weak smile*
The DAY that I’m referring to is National Unplugging Day, which will be held on Sunday 28 June 2015. ‘Parents far and wide are being asked to #GoGagetFree and spend the day from sun-up to sun-down without any technology.
The organisation have put together a whole host of weekly competitions, giving away prizes such as Camp Bestival family tickets, camping weekends, board games, books and City hotel breaks to enable parents to have as much fun tech-free on this day and beyond as possible.
National Unplugging Day is one day per year and their aim is to help families balance their off-line and on-line interactions. The hope is that their practical tips, monthly news, up and coming workshops will facilitate positive change on a regular basis, not just on one day.’
Obviously electronic devices are crucial to our modern day to day lives – on the + side, invariably, if you have an emergency situation, a mobile can literally save lives or be the difference between life and death, which is how I always think of them in terms of necessity.
But the negative far outweighs the positive and this has been proven repeatedly.
*Excessive Internet Use Is Linked To Depression
British psychologists have found evidence of a link between excessive internet use and depression. According to The Guardian, the article on the relationship between excessive internet use and depression, a questionnaire-based study of 1,319 young people and adults, used data compiled from respondents to links placed on UK-based social networking sites.
*Too Much GPS Usage Can Lead To Brain Atrophy
For example, taxi drivers learn to rely on their GPS devices and stop thinking about their internal maps. You may degrade your spatial abilities when not training them, as with someone who learned a musical instrument and stopped playing. And another example: several search and rescue operations had to be mounted in the Sierra Mountains of California last year, when hikers with a GPS didn’t even bother to navigate or use a map, but left it all up to the GPS. Bad idea!
*Social Websites Are Harming Children’s Brains
Social networking websites are causing alarming changes in the brains of young users, an eminent scientist has warned.
Sites such as Facebook, Twitter and Bebo are said to shorten attention spans, encourage instant gratification and make young people more self-centred.
*‘Educational’ Activities May Actually Slow Learning
The medical journal, Paediatrics, reports children who watch fast-paced cartoons perform worse when asked to follow rules or delay gratification. Some technology developed to enhance cognitive abilities of infants or adults may slow learning. Ironically, research found that educational or ‘brain boosting’ applications may actually slow learning while ‘mindless’ video games can have sustained benefits.
*Students Are Losing the Ability to Concentrate
The average ninth grader student in some classes receives at least 1,000 text messages per month. And that’s not during the school day, when students are made to turn off their mobiles. Many teachers are seriously concerned that the input of multiple technologies is leading to the inability to stick with any one thought for longer than a few seconds. Creativity and imagination are also lost in this constant use of technology.*
I think the answer here, if you’re not already scared witless with the above information, is all about balance. A healthy balance in this age of technology is possible and easier to achieve than we’d think. All it takes is educating ourselves every day. As you’ve no doubt often heard, it’s good to learn something new every day. So, teaching yourself balance wouldn’t be much different + a huge lashing of common sense could just as easily reset the self-health balance.
Another nice thing about National Unplugging Day is it’s over the weekend, so this makes it easier for many of us to get unplugged: take a walk; go for a picnic; snooze and watch the clouds pass overhead or shock, horror, read an actual book with paper pages. I know which of these I’m going to be doing!
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m haring off to the water cooler station to go and paste up the poster about the Day. (And to have a big slurp of water – all this thinking has made my brain thirsty). Happy ‘No Plug Day’ to you!
*excerpts from an article at Care2.com