National Day of UNPLUG
We live in a digital world and as we discover new ways to connect with technology, we are becoming less connected with each other and the natural world. And while there are countless benefits of technology, excessive screen time has been proven to have many negative effects, especially on children and adolescence.
According to the CDC, American adults use their phones an average of 28.5 hours per week while children ages 8-18 average 7.5 hours in front of a screen for entertainment each day. Excessive screen time has been linked to an increased risk of obesity due to reduced physical activity and decreased productivity. Additionally, too much screen time, specifically high consumption of social media, can increase feelings of depression, loneliness, and anxiety while also negatively impacting sleep, cognitive performance, and vision.
While completely removing ourselves from technology is not realistic, there are several strategies we can utilize to combat these negative side effects to maintain a healthy balance. Here are a few to get you started!
- Enhance connectedness with nature. Connectedness refers to the way we relate to and experience nature, which can range from hiking to gardening. Studies have shown that even watching nature documentaries or enjoying views of green space can generate positive emotions such as calmness, joy, creativity, and can improve concentration.
- Limit social media to 30 – 60 minutes per day. Social media has been identified as the most troublesome type of content. Reducing social media consumption to a modest amount of time, posting and engaging with others rather than passively scrolling, and following people you actually know rather than celebrities and influencers can reduce the negative effects of social media.
- Spend 3 to 4 hours daily without any screens. Taking a small break from technology can reduce distractions, improve concentration, and enhance social interactions. While a 24-hour period may be too disruptive and challenging for many, daily time gaps can be very effective. Additionally, spending some of the screen-free time being physically active can provide the biggest boosts to overall health.
The Global Day of Unplugging is a 24-hour period running from sundown on Friday March 1st to sundown on Saturday March 2nd, which encourages everyone to carve out precious time to unplug from technology, reflect, visit the outdoors, and connect with loved ones. See our list of Unplugged program offerings designed to help you and your loved ones do just that.
Whether with us or on your own…Unplug and find your outlet!
For more information on ways CRPD invites the community to UNPLUG, visit www.crpd.org/unplug