Day of Unplugging

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For 24 hours, starting at sundown Friday March 4, 2011, people across the nation will reclaim time, slow down their lives and reconnect with friends, family, the community and themselves. This Friday has been named a “National Day of  Unplugging” by Reboot, a non-profit organization that aims to reinvent the cultures, traditions and rituals of Jewish life.

Way back when, G-d said, “On the seventh day thou shalt rest.”  The meaning behind it was simple: Take a break. Call a timeout. Find some balance. Recharge.

Somewhere along the line, however, this mantra for living faded from modern consciousness. The idea of unplugging every seventh day now feels tragically close to impossible. Who has time to take time off? We need eight days a week to get tasks accomplished, not six.

There’s clearly a social problem when we’re interacting more with digital interfaces than our fellow human beings. Rich, engaging conversations are harder to come by than they were a few years ago. As we voyage deeper into the digital world, our attention spans are silently evaporating. Unplugging on a weekly basis won’t provide a magical solution to these issues, but it’s a start. Adding a modern Sabbath will ideally reward with the same riches this ritual has provided for centuries  – a chance to catch our breaths, replenish our souls and reconnect with the living, breathing people we love.”- Dan Rollman, President of

The Sabbath Manifesto, Reboot’s project, was developed by a group of Jewish creatives – artists, writers, filmmakers and media professionals who, not particularly religious, but with a deep feeling that life had been taken over by technology and the grind of work. They envisioned people of all denominations taking a time-out every week to slow down, reclaim time, and reconnect with friends, family, their communities and themselves. The Manifesto proposes 10 principles that can serve as an antidote to our increasingly fast-paced way of living.

The Ten Principles

1. Avoid Technology
2. Connect With Loved Ones
3. Nurture Your Health
4. Get Outside
5. Avoid Commerce
6. Light Candles
7. Drink Wine
8. Eat Bread
9. Find Silence
10. Give Back

They can be interpreted in any way you want, and practiced with friends, family, or even your local bartender. Are you ready to join us for the National Day of  Unplugging? Can you take the unplug challenge and put down your iPhone, Android phone, BlackBerry, sign out of email,  stop your Facebook and Twitter updates?  If  so, sign up here. Too scared to try it? You’re not alone.

The National Day of  Unplugging will take place from sundown to sundown, March 4 to 5. For more information… visit Sabbath Manifesto’s website, Facebook Page, follow them on Twitter.

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