Seventh Annual "National Day of Unplugging"

Hide the Selfie Stick and Take a Digital Detox on March 4-5, 2016

Feb 17, 2016, 09:00 ET from Reboot

NEW YORK, Feb. 17, 2016 /PRNewswire/ -- In celebration of the seventh annual National Day of Unplugging (NDU), from sundown Friday, March 4, to sundown, Saturday, March 5, 2016, the nonprofit Reboot is asking individuals and families to put down their smartphones, tablets and computers for 24 hours to experience life unplugged.  To support people with unplugging, Reboot has partnered with global design company IDEO to launch the FRIDAY App, a free mobile app now available for iOS that encourages users to slow down and reflect as they transition from the stressful work week to a more restful weekend state of mind.

From concertgoers recording shows through the dim light of a cell phone to paparazzi and "mamarazzi" obsessed with filming every element of their child's life, smartphone use is at an all-time high. In a 2015 study by the Pew Research Center, 89 percent of cell phone owners said they used their phones during the last social gathering they attended. But they weren't happy about it; 82 percent of adults felt that the way they used their phones in social settings hurt the conversation.

While technology is an important part of everyday lives, the NDU aims to help hyper-connected people slow down, consider minimizing screen time and unplug regularly.

"We know smartphones, computers, tablets, digital watches and other forms of technology are a permanent part of our lives," said Shane Hankins, Reboot's chief operating officer. "We all need to consider finding ways to slow down the barrage of emails, social media pings and phone calls, and focus more on the people and places that are important in our lives. The NDU is a reminder for all of us to take a pause from technology, be more present and live in the moment." 

With its FRIDAY App, Reboot has embraced the power of mobile apps to encourage users to slow down and reflect throughout the entire year. This project has come to life thanks to the partnership and generous support of The Righteous Persons Foundation.

"With the social norm of being online 24/7, taking time to unplug and reflect each week has become countercultural—and more important for our well-being than ever before," said Rachel Levin, executive director of The Righteous Persons Foundation. "Our hope is that the FRIDAY App balances the reality of modern-day life with a tradition that's spiritually renewing, and that it provides a visually inspiring way to end one week and welcome another."

Each Friday, 30 minutes before sunset, the FRIDAY App will send a reminder to slow down and will spark conversations by offering short stories and questions from contributors including writer Joel Stein, film producer Alicia Van Couvering and Pitch Perfect author Mickey Rapkin. The app then prompts users to "sunset" their phones into a blissful twilight to encourage unplugging.

To set people up for success during the NDU, Reboot is offering a toolkit of tips for activities to facilitate tech-free family time and for communities to bring people together. Additionally, individuals are invited to participate in the "WE UNPLUG TO _____" campaign by uploading a photo at that shares what they like to do when not using technology.

About National Day of Unplugging

The National Day of Unplugging has roots in the Jewish tradition of the Sabbath. This modern day of rest was developed in 2010 for people of all backgrounds as a way to bring balance to the increasingly fast-paced way of life and reclaim time to connect with family, friends and our communities. The NDU has resonated around the world with people of all backgrounds, from Catholic to Hindi, Buddhist and Muslim and has been embraced by a range of celebrities including Arianna Huffington and Orange is the New Black creator Jenji Kohan.

About Reboot

Reboot affirms the value of Jewish traditions and creates new ways for people to make them their own. Inspired by Jewish ritual and embracing the arts, humor, food, philosophy, and social justice, we produce creative projects that spark the interest of young Jews and the larger community. Among our productions are events, exhibitions, recordings, books, films, DIY activity toolkits, and apps. Since our inception, 509 network members, 895 community organization partners, and hundreds of thousands of people have looked to Reboot to rekindle connections and re-imagine Jewish lives full of meaning, creativity, and joy.

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The National Day of Unplugging is being celebrated in San Francisco and Los Angeles in partnership with The Digital Detox.

The Koret Foundation and the Jim Joseph Foundation are the major supporters of Reboot programs in the Bay Area.