Going off the grid: Can you unplug?
(CBS News) Saturday is "National Day of Unplugging," and chances are when you woke up this morning one of the very first things you did was reach for your cell phone or sit down at your computer to check e-mail, Facebook or Twitter. Many people seem to spend much of their waking lives tethered to technology, but today is a chance to disconnect.
On Friday night, Jeremy Goldberg and many of his friends opted to go off the grid, putting away all electronics for 24 hours. A recent survey found that no-mobile-phobia causes panic in most of us, and in fact, 58 percent of us can't live without our cell phones for more than an hour.
"I think the key thing is remembering, hey if God needed a day of rest, maybe that's not such a bad idea for us either. That's probably a good starting point," Goldberg said.
Goldberg is a member of Reboot, young Jewish thinkers intent on rebooting ancient traditions to fit modern-day life.
Three years ago it spawned the Sabbath Manifesto, which encourages people to shut down their devices once a week. Now, the brainchild of Dan Rollman has turned into a national day of unplugging, and even tech heavyweight Arianna Huffington is on board.
For some, it's a welcome rest for our wired lifestyle. Stanford University's Cliff Nass studies how multi-tasking with technology affects the brain.
"We were stunned because high multi-taskers show a radically different use of their brain, so to that extent it is new and seems counterproductive," Ness said.
In Pittsburgh, the Rev. William H. Curtis has his own take on the Sabbath Manifesto. "We've asked our congregation this year for Lent, as part of it, to give up social media for I think three, four days," he said. "It'll be hard for me because I practically live on Twitter."
No matter who you are, unplugging, it seems, requires so much willpower we need to get it from a higher power.
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