Can you survive 24 hours without your phone?

Sundown-to-sundown on March 9–10 is observed as the National Day of Unplugging. As a challenge, or rather “digital detox,” it is asked that we detach from our cellular devices for 24 hours in an effort to highlight the value of reconnecting with yourself, your loved ones and your community in real time.   

I was recently reminded by my five-year-old niece that I’m not very good at unplugging when she poised the question: “Why are adults always on their phones?” Although I try my best to lend some of my time to other hobbies, I fall victim to my iPhone daily. Regardless, reaching for a book is one of my top alternatives to bingeing Netflix or spending hours scrolling through Instagram with no real purpose. I’m currently reading Women Who Run with the Wolves by Clarissa Pinkola–Estes and taking a vacation from social media. I’ve gone as far as deleting social media apps from my phone! *small win* And I try my best to read during my morning and evening commute, although that’s typically interrupted by a catnap.

I asked some of my fellow OOMers to share details on what they’re currently reading or how/when they choose to “unplug”. Here are some of their responses:

Julia tends to unplug right before bed (although she admits it should be sooner!) then she grabs a book.

Alex is currently reading Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly and generally tries to unplug during dinnertime: “When possible, I love to unplug during my commute home from work. It’s a great time for me to dive into the book I am currently reading or shut my eyes and reflect on my day. However, my favorite time to unplug would definitely be on those summer beach-day weekends!”

Gina says “I love to read an actual book (not a book on my phone, a tablet or on an eReader) right before bed. It usually helps me get to sleep so easily. Currently, I love to read graphic novels before bed – I can really get a good chunk done before I get sleepy. Recently I’ve read Ghosts by Raina TelgemeierGraveyard Shakes by Laura Terry, and The Witch Boy by Molly Knox Ostertag all before bed! And, I try to unplug during meetings and meals so I can give people my utmost attention, but I will sadly admit, my phone is hard to resist!" 

Brittany is currently reading her way through the Jack Reacher series by Lee Child: “They’re such fast and entertaining reads—I’m hooked! Currently I’m on #6, with only 16 more to go!”

Emily adds: “I am currently reading The Cruel Prince by Holly Black. My favorite time to unplug is on my commute. I love being able to lose myself in a book and (temporarily) forget about the crowded subway or delays! The Cruel Prince is SO good though, that I find I can’t put it down — I’ve been also reading it at home after dinner and before I go to bed. As a social media manager, I find that I am rarely completely unplugged, but one of my resolutions for this year has been to try to spend a little more time every week where I’m not looking at my phone.”

Will you take the challenge?

Photo: National Day of Unplugging