This article is by staff writer Adam Baker, who recently shared “3 Lesson I’ve Learned in 3 Years of Marriage.”

Technology is a double-edged sword: It has the power to revolutionize our productivity and allow us to achieve feats previously thought to be impossible; but it also has the ability to drain our focus and squander our attention.

As a blogger, I’m usually a strong proponent of gadgets that plug in and turn on. These type of tools allow me to make a living from anywhere I want. But, like many who stare at a computer all day, I struggle with turning all the fancy gadgets off.

It’s incredibly easy for me to work, play, entertain, and socialize all in front of my computer… or a television… or my new iPhone. Even my two-year-old daughter is obsessed with cell phones now. I don’t blame her — they blink, make sounds, and mommy and daddy use them all the time!

Our recent overdose of technology has Courtney and me actively looking for ways to unplug our life. Yesterday on Twitter (ironic I know), I stumbled upon the Sabbath Manifesto. From the website, the Sabbath Manifesto is “a creative project designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world.” Perfect!

The Sabbath Manifesto encourages people to set aside one day a week to take a timeout from life. On this one day, you’re urged to:

  1. Avoid technology.
  2. Connect with loved ones.
  3. Nurture your health.
  4. Get outside.
  5. Avoid commerce.
  6. Light candles.
  7. Drink wine.
  8. Eat bread.
  9. Find silence.
  10. Give back.

The Sabbath Manifest is co-ordinating a National Day of Unplugging. From sundown on March 19th (today!) to sundown on March 20th, we’re being called to turn off and unplug our gadgets to whatever degree we feel comfortable. This has the potential to benefit our selves, our relationships, our environment — and our pocketbooks.

Here’s a fun video they made to support the cause:

You know what? We’re buying in. Courtney and I are going to give it an earnest shot. We love organized days like this, and will be having some people over for board games by candlelight (alright, maybe we’ll actually use the lights… still undecided)!

Either way, we’ll be burying the laptops, the cell phones, and the television. For us, that would be a big step in unplugging.

What about you? How do you unplug? Will you be joining the National Day of Unplugging?

J.D.’s note: Just the other night I was chatting about this very subject with Fraser from Universe Today. We’re both gadget guys, and both make our livings from the computer. But we’re also both drawn to do more outside, to cut the cord with technology. Fraser has dropped his smartphone for a cheap pre-paid unit. And I’m beginning to question my drawer full of gadgets. I’ll actually be joining Adam for the National Day of Unplugging. And I’ll consider adding a sabbath to my weeks.

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