Drop Your Phone and Unplug Today in Detroit - National Day of Unplugging

Heather Raulerson

On the first Friday in March, National Day of Unplugging kicks off a 24 hour period from sundown to sundown to unplug, unwind, relax and do things other than using today’s technology, electronics, and social media. How many of us can do this without a thought? I’m thinking not that many.


Photo by Heather Raulerson

If you look around the average American household, smartphones, computers, gaming systems, and smart TVs may not fill every nook and cranny. Still, gradually these devices are taking up residence and bandwidth in our homes and brains. According to Pew Research, the typical American family contains approximately five connected devices, and most likely, they are on all at the same time. Media, friends, entertainment, education, work, and more are all at our fingertips. The amount of information available to us is at an all-time high. The amount of connectedness goes with us everywhere, especially since most people are working remotely from home.


Photo by Heather Raulerson

I know that when my family gets together, we sit around the kitchen table. But not to talk. Everyone is on their phones playing whatever game is the newest and hottest thing or chatting with one of their friends. We spend more time looking at our phones than each other. Relationships will improve by putting the phones down and just start talking again in person. I definitely need more of this in my life!

Disconnecting or unplugging from technology offers us an opportunity to reset. It allows us to make more human connections with the people around us, including our family. Digital relationships lack the sounds, smells, touch, and eye contact we desperately need in these crazy times.


Photo by Heather Raulerson

Another benefit of unplugging is better sleep. When we push away from the computer, put down the smartphone, and turn off the computer, we’re more likely to stretch our legs and go outdoors into the fresh air. I know that I need to do this more as I’m always on my computer all day and have trouble sleeping. Being outdoors and getting some natural exercise will help our bodies to sleep better.

When you unplug, you’ll find more time to do the things you keep saying you have no time to do—for example, reading that book or visiting with an old friend, cleaning out the closets, or hiking a trail. How many of us have lists of tasks that we need to do that we keep putting off? What’s on your list that National Day of Unplugging will help you get finished?

How to take advantage of the National Day of Unplugging?

Make a plan to spend a day with a friend. Go outdoors and play with your pet. Turn off smartphones, computers, gaming systems, and televisions for the day. Read the newspaper or a book. Go to the library and borrow a few books that you haven’t read before. Have a conversation uninterrupted by notifications.


Photo by Heather Raulerson

Other things to do around Detroit and the suburbs take a walk along one of the many trails (Paint Creek Trail, Clinton River Trail, and Dequindre Cut) and parks (Maybury State Park) we have. When was the last time you visited Stoney Creek or Kensington Metro Parks? Take a walk around your neighborhood and say hi to your neighbors! Who knows, you might make a new friend today.

How else will you spend the day? Take a break from technology; your body and family will appreciate it! And if you can’t do it today, try for another day next week. Or try to have a goal to do this once a month to reconnect with your family. The goal is to take a full-day break from all things technology. Can you do it?


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Freelance travel writer and photographer who loves sharing her adventures from around the world. It is never too late to pursue your dream!

Rochester Hills, MI

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