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DISCONNECT – Unplugging to Reset Your Life-Tech Balance

Well, hello March!  There are so many positive things happening this month. Am I right?  We celebrate International Women’s Day as well as Women’s History month.  We have some fun drinking green beer and eating corned beef and cabbage on St. Patty’s Day, and we get some much-needed daylight with the coming spring!  There is another day however that we thought was worth mentioning and that is the Global Day of Unplugging on March 3rd.

During a TED talk in 2017 titled 12 truths I learned from life and writing, author Anne Lamott (Bird by Bird, Traveling Mercies, Hallelujah Anyway) said:

“Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”  — Anne Lamott

So true right? Especially in in today’s modern world where technology is so present in our daily lives.

Photo by Boris Pavlikovsky on

The UnPlug Collaborative created the global day of unplugging campaign in 2009 and has continued ever since spreading awareness on the importance of balancing technology in our lives even as it (and our attachment to it) grows omnipresent.   The Global Day of Unplugging encourages people to take a full 24-hour break from technology.  Could you do it?  It would mean no computers and their cousins, laptops and/or tablets, are out too.  Phones are especially out. 

Unplugging for one day may seem easy because there is an expectation that when it’s over, we can plug back in and go back to the norm.  Except that’s not the point.  Look, we can readily see how important technology is in our daily lives.  Technology has so many benefits and conveniences that it can be hard to see the many negative affects of overusing it.  What are they?  The negatives are mounting in study after study and include:

  • Bad Sleeping HabitsTV can really impact our sleep health.  Blue light messes with our bodies production of melatonin, and phones, tablets and computers keep us up way too late while we scroll social media or text with friends, robbing us of needed sleep.
When was the last time you slept like a baby? Could blue light be keeping you from a good night’s sleep? Photo by William Fortunato on
  • Isolation – While many nations have declared a loneliness epidemic the U.S. reports that over half (54%) of Americans feel they do not have meaningful personal connections .  Technology may be part of the problem.  Social media can make people feel like they are missing out on social events leading to feelings of exclusion and insecurity, while a significant lack of human contact can result in depression.  The increased use of texting instead of face-to-face communication feels impersonal and often leads to miscommunication and confusion.  Electronic communication is far from human companionship!   
Photo by Kampus Production on
  • Distraction and short attention span – How many times have you been engaged in a task and stopped to see what the ping, ding, or ring was about on your phone?  Tech addiction and the constant digital stimulation are to blame for today’s shorter attention span among students according to a study by Santa Maria College.  Also cited as a reason for children’s reduced attention span is how information is presented.  Students have become used to receiving it in small bits, like texts, that they skim through rather than read.  The habit of skimming can carry over into larger assignments and make it difficult for them to focus on longer tasks.
  • Cyberbullying –Listen up, the top three countries where parents reported  cyberbullying includes the U.S. and a PEW Research study found that 59% of U.S. teens have experienced abusive online behavior, as the anonymity provided by the internet shelters people from being – or even feeling – accountable for their actions.  And it’s not just teens that are the victims.  The Cyberbullying Research Center found that while online bullying happened to over 40% of young adults (18-25 years old), over 15% of 36-45 year olds were targeted, as well as 13% of 46-55 year olds, 7% of 56-65 year olds and 6.5% of those 66 and older.
Photo by Jessica Lewis Creative on
  • Stunted imagination – A study from Uppsala University shows that preschool children’s play involving tablets is less creative and imaginative compared to their play involving physical toys.  
  • Communication problems and poor social skills – Studies indicate that the high use of texting can cause a disconnect in personal relationships, as a reliance on technology for communicating and socializing, actual inhibits development of social skills.  A UNC Chapel Hill study finds that too much screen time makes our brains lazy, making it harder for us to interact with other people.  The study points out that the more time spent looking at a screen the less time is spent establishing and building strong connections and relationships which are important for mental health and the health of the community at large.

Essentially, too much time on smartphones is not making us very smart so unplugging every now and then could benefit our well-being. 

Look we’re all for tracking calories and steps, following friends and family on social media and taking part in the “History Repeats Itself”  trend on TikTok. But after seeing the list of negatives, it seems to us like a good idea to unplug for a while.   How you unplug is up to you but we do hope that however you spend your unplugged moment it includes meaningful, face-to-face human connection.  We’ll see you in the next blog (plugged-in again, of course)!

 Deb Fries works with the Julianna Rae team to offer the best shopping experience for quality silk and cotton sleepwear while also writing for the blog at