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Wednesday, 12 March 2014 14:42

Unplug one day a week

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March 7-8 from sundown to sundown was the national day of unplugging. What did you do for those 24 hours? Did it involve looking at a computer screen? How about sending a text? Were you on Facebook or Twitter?

A lot of people probably were. If you missed out on this annual event held the first Friday of March, you can always take the pledge next year and choose to take a break from technology in order to re-connect with yourself and the people in your life.
But you can actually start sooner than 2015.
The National Day of Unplugging comes from a larger movement of the Reboot network called The Sabbath Manifesto.
A Jewish-based organization, Reboot’s manifesto is “an adaption of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.” (http://www.sabbath
It’s a great idea. Biblically, God commanded his people to rest every seventh day. As the world has become more fast-paced and hectic, individuals themselves are taking on more work. There never seems to be a time to catch up or feel truly rested. Socializing with others has become reading fellow friends’ Facebook posts and getting your 140-character tidbits from Twitter.
Driving to see a friend and her new baby, holding the little one in your arms  and speaking gentle words of love has been replaced by hitting the like button underneath the newborn’s photo and typing a message of congratulations.
We need to get back to a place of re-connecting face to face with others. We also need to make time for ourselves — to slow down, turn off the computer, put down the Smartphone and enjoy some of the simpler, slower pleasures in life.
The Sabbath Manifesto offers up advice to help people do just that. The 10 principles are to be observed one day per week, from sunset to sunset. They include: avoid technology; connect with loved ones; nurture your health; get outside; avoid commerce; light candles; drink wine; eat bread; find silence and give back. How one accomplishes all or any of these 10 things is up to each individual. It can be as simple as going for a walk or enjoying that glass of wine in a bubble bath in silence by candlelight. (That could fulfill six of the principles in an hour).
If you can’t find the time to unplug and re-connect one day a week, start off with one day a month. You may find you enjoy the experience so much — and the added mental, physical and social benefits that result — you’re more than willing to decide to make it a weekly habit.
Rose Sanchez is assistant managing editor with the Prairie Post. Contact her with your comments about this opinion piece at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

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Rose Sanchez

Assistant Managing Editor