Can you take one day out of your week to shut off your cell phone, unplug your tablet, shut down your computer and disconnect from social networking sites? A group of Jewish artists known as Reboot is trying to get the country to do just that through The Sabbath Manifesto.
Reboot describes The Sabbath Manifesto as “a creative project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world.”
The Sabbath Manifesto’s Ten Principles is structured much like the Ten Commandments, although the penalties for breaking one of the principles aren’t as harsh. The principles are more of a guide to help you stay unconnected one day a week.
The Ten Principles are: avoid technology; connect with loved ones; nurture your heath; get outside; avoid commerce; light candles; drink wine; eat bread; find silence; and give back.
Reboot is urging technology users to take part in National Day of Unplugging 2013, which takes place sundown March 1 to sundown March 2.
To help people unplug, the Sabbath Manifesto created a “cell phone sleeping bag,” a canvas sack designed by San Francisco-based conceptual artist Jessica Tully to help cell phone users “resist the temptation of the distracting electronic glow of our cell phones and cameras.”
How easy is it to set aside one day to be unplugged? Our connection to technology may be an addiction, tech and communication consultant Camille Preston told the Associated Press.
"What might have felt like an obligation at first has become an addiction. It's almost as if we don't know how to be alone, or we are afraid of what we'll find when we are alone with ourselves," she told the AP.
Duke University professor Cathy Davidson, the head of the school’s PhD Lab in Digital Knowledge, told the wire service that her tech savvy friends stay unplugged during their vacations by setting away messages on their devices. She said they have no issues keeping unplugged throughout the week.
"They've come up with a socially acceptable convention for their own absence from the world of technology and everybody recognizes it,” Davidson said.
The Sabbath Manifesto is the brainchild of Reboot co-founder and RecordSetter.com CEO Dan Rollman, who yearned for the days when stores closed on Sunday and the world was less hectic.
“I knew I wanted a day of rest,” he told the AP.
Rollman makes an effort not to work on Saturdays and advises his employees to try and stay unplugged that day.
"There's a huge sense of relief," he told the AP. "It is a liberating feeling to walk out of one's door and not have your cellphone in your pocket."
To help people stay unplugged, The Sabbath Manifesto also sells a “Phonekerchief,” a handkerchief/phone case with the message “My Phone IS OFF For Your” scrawled on the front. The “Phonekerchief,” shown here, is made with silver fibers that block incoming cell phone calls.