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Unplug on National Unplug Day

“Unplug” on National Unplug Day

Friday 03 March 2023

In a world where technology dominates most aspects of our lives, sometimes you just need to “unplug”.

National Unplug Day celebrates this feeling.

On the first Friday of March, we are encouraged to switch off all our our media devices for 24 hours. These devices, which instantly provide endless entertainment and distraction, may obfuscate the world you live in.

By turning off all the digital distractions in your life, you can remind yourself of what it’s like to live without them, and perhaps re-focus on the things which are most important to you.

Health benefits of “unplugging”

Digital screens are notorious for causing both mental and ocular discomfort. Focussing on small screens, with small text, close to your face, for hours on end can place significant strain on your eyes. Your ciliary muscles which control the size and angle of the lens in your eye will appreciate the rest.

Unplugging also gives us a break from the blue-light rich phone and computer screens in our lives. The high blue-light content of these cheaply lit screens can aggravate the body’s natural circadian rhythm. This is because the spectrum of light projected by these screens triggers the melatonin-suppression response in the brain. Melatonin is the hormone which helps your brain feel sleepy, and allows you to fall asleep when you go to bed. If you spend too much time in front of these screens, then your circadian rhythm can lose synchronicity with the world outside, and you will struggle to fall asleep when it is dark outside.

Personal Benefits of “unplugging”

If, like many of us, you find yourself seeking the distraction of technology more often than not, then “unplugging” offers the opportunity to ask yourself an important question. Why do I seek these distractions? Or even to ask, what am I avoiding?

Without getting too philosophical on a Friday afternoon, a simple question like this can remind you of some of the things you love which you might have been neglecting. Instead of watching the television or reading the news on your phone, you could get lost in a book you’ve been meaning to read or mend some of the clothes you haven’t been able to wear.

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