Break Free of Notifications on Global Unplugging Day

Break Free Of Notifications On Global Unplugging Day

Break Free Of Notifications On Global Unplugging Day image

Living in an ever-connected world, we’re become increasingly attached to our smart phones.

We can be surrounded by our friends and family, in whatever environment, when suddenly it all goes quiet. You look up from your phone and notice that everyone around you is scrolling on their own phones. In offices, libraries, on public transport, or even in our own homes.

Smart phones today are designed to distract and occupy us. Those little red circles on apps that badger you for attention, to let you know there’s a new notification you’ve not yet read.

They draw you in, don’t they? But why?

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FOMO – Fear of Missing Out

According to Ofcom, Brits now check their phones every 12 minutes, despite making fewer phone calls than we did 10 years ago. And the phenomenon of feeling lost without mobile phone connectivity is known as ‘Nomophobia’.

Another revelation from the regulator’s Communications Market Report reveals that approximately one fifth of British adults spend over 40 hours a week online. And it seems to be generational, with more and more young people choosing to connect with others in online spaces.

Facebook, Twitter, SMS, WhatsApp, Snapchat, LinkedIn, Blogs… we have so many methods to stay connected with friends and the wider world, and we all seem to suffer with FOMO – Fear of missing out. A fear that drives us to regularly eschew being present in the moment as we go online to keep up with what is happening elsewhere.

Many of us are guilty of this. Rather than being present in the moment, we’re deliberately thinking about capturing events as a status update, and how others will comment and respond.

However, ‘living for the likes’ can be a lonely path, and you’re next truly relaxed if you never ‘switch off’.

Approximately one fifth of British adults spend over 40 hours a week online Click to Tweet

Break Free Of Notifications On Global Unplugging Day

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Global Day of Unplugging

On Friday 7th March 2014, I, Richard Tubb, observed my first Global Day of Unplugging. As part of this, I conducted an experiment to switch off my smartphone, set aside my iPad and avoid social media and email for 24 hours.

For me, it was quite a challenge, because I do depend on quite a few apps in my daily life.

But, without those regular distractions, I found I was more focused on my environment and what was going on around me and in my life.

This year, the Global Day of Unplugging can be observed on Friday 1st March 2024.

This website has lots of tips and good ideas for what activities you can engage in.

As well as that, Team Tubb has a few ideas for you too.

Unplugging Tips from Team Tubb

Tubb Tip 1: Play Board Games

Stephen and Lara both list playing tabletop games with friends or family as a great way to have a break from screens.

Tubb Tip 2: Going for a Walk/Fresh Air

Gudrun often leaves her phone at home when taking her dog, Perdue for a walk. Likewise, Shannon also enjoys a bit of fresh air with her dog, while Pascal enjoys walks along the river, in nearby County Durham.

Tubb Tip 3: Take Part in Sports

Sports are a good way to keep fit, and they are completely free from digital distractions. Mark loves playing Rugby with his friends when he can.

Tubb Tip 4: Journaling and Meditation

Lenka likes to set aside one day a month to ‘disconnect’, putting her phone on ‘airplane mode’. She takes this time to indulge in mindful activities such as journaling and meditation.

Tubb Tip 5: Read a Book

Many of the team choose to read a book to unplug from digital world. If you’re looking for something to read, here you’ll find a great selection of books for MSPs.

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Why Digital Detoxing is a Good Idea

It’s been proven that there are a number of health benefits related to digital detoxing.

Aside from breaking the cycle of digital device addiction, a detox can offer benefits such as:

  • Reduced stress
  • Improved sleep habits
  • Reduced depression and anxiety

The FOMO you get when you don’t have digital connectivity can cause a lack of focus, irritability and can affect your overall mood.

So, perhaps taking a day off every now and then isn’t such a bad idea.

Could you cope with a full 24 hours without internet connectivity or access to your phone? Could you happily extend your digital detox for longer? And are you confident to be able to leave your business to run without you for that long?

We would love to hear from you if you’re going to be observing the Global Day of Unplugging in the comments.

Break Free Of Notifications On Global Unplugging Day
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RICHARD TUBB

Richard Tubb is one of the best-known experts within the global IT Managed Service Provider (MSP) community. He launched and sold his own MSP business before creating a leading MSP media and consultancy practice. Richard helps IT business owner’s take back control by freeing up their time and building a business that can run without them. He’s the author of the book “The IT Business Owner’s Survival Guide” and writer of the award-winning blog www.tubblog.co.uk

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Comments

6 thoughts on Break Free Of Notifications On Global Unplugging Day

JO HARRISON

6TH MARCH 2014 10:15:07

If I unplug for 24 hours I won't be able to work... so I'm going to have to pass this time! :)

RICHARD TUBB

6TH MARCH 2014 11:10:41

Jo - true! I'm fortunate in that I don't work Friday's so the impact will be minimised. I wonder if you could unplug on a weekend instead though?

LIZ BROOMFIELD

6TH MARCH 2014 20:02:16

I was about to say the same as Jo - and I work weekends, as well (I mean, I don't work all the time, constantly, but the nature of my clients and workflow means that I have something on the go most days). I have been careful about, for example, leaving my phone in another room during mealtimes, whether I'm with someone else or on my own, and I think it's a very good idea in principle, just not very practical for some of us unfortunately. I will be unplugging while I'm at the gym tomorrow, however - will that do?

RICHARD TUBB

6TH MARCH 2014 23:22:42

Liz - obviously, unplugging isn't for all of us and I'm unplugging more to see how 24 hours without the Internet feels after so many years of never being without a Smartphone or PC! With that said, all of us probably need to unplug (if just for a short while) for that we probably do. The gym counts! :-)

LIZ BROOMFIELD

7TH MARCH 2014 07:42:07

I think I'm going to try it for a day on our holiday in April - just enjoy the time without electronics. We'll see!

UNPLUGGED |

9TH MARCH 2014 10:51:31

[…] friend, IT expert, Richard Tubb, told me about NDU just the day before, and told me about his plans to go out for the day and leave his phone at home – was I […]

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