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National Day Of Unplugging: Putting The Technology Down After A Difficult Year

(CBS LOCAL) - Most of us have been spending more time than ever in front of our screens this past year, whether it's on phones, computers, or televisions.

Friday, March 5th is the National Day of Unplugging, which calls for people to put away devices.

The Bartkowski family in San Diego spends much of their life online these days between remote work and virtual learning for 12-year-old McKenna and eight-year-old Aiden. When asked how much time she's spending in front of screens, McKenna says, "I feel like a lot."

McKenna estimates she's online eight hours or more a day for school and socializing. That's why their mom Lisa plans to have the family participate in National Day of Unplugging for the first time.

"It's a first step in training our minds to just slow down and think of things in a different way and take the time that we will be spending on screens to do other things that are important as well," Lisa says.

National Day of Unplugging can last anywhere between one to 24 hours. People can even sign up for cell phone sleeping bags to hide their devices in, which may be a tough challenge after a year online.

"We're able to now see how we feel when it's in excess," says Kim Cavallo, a National Day of Unplugging organizer. "I think the thing is to realize is that what I want to do with my time when I'm not working or I'm not in school."

The campaign suggests activities like getting outside or joining their scavenger hunts.

McKenna says, "I think it should be something that families should maybe do like maybe once a week or like even more than that. Realize that there's a lot of other fun things to do."

The Bartkowskis are looking to go kayaking - a day on the water and off the grid.

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