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National Day Of Unplugging: 24 Hours Without My Phone

person pulling plug out from power strip
March 3, 2020
Caroline Burk

Most of our lives are spent in front of screens. I find myself picking up my phone every five minutes just to check the time, even when there is a perfectly good clock hanging right in front of me. This quickly turns into a social media session, sending me into a downward spiral through Snapchat, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Pretty soon, I lose all track of time and find myself drowning in a series of cat videos and DIY tutorials.

This bad habit is the reason why I was so intrigued when I heard about the National Day of Unplugging. The idea is to go one whole day without using any devices. Yes, you heard correctly, 24 hours without even so much as checking your phone, tablet, or other digital devices.


This challenge happens every year on the second Friday of March and always has the same goal: to encourage people to close the apps, silence the notifications, and log-off in order to connect with the people around them. Unplugging is meant to help you live in the moment, without distraction.

Now, this all sounds fantastic. Who wouldn’t want to take some time to pour into the ones we love and be more intentional? I decided why wait until March 6-7, so I took the challenge to unplug for 24 hours.

Spoiler alert: I survived.

Long story short, I failed the unplugging challenge. I’m a bit ashamed to admit that I didn’t make it 24 hours without being on my phone. Seriously… I didn’t even make it 12 hours. It wasn’t the busy moments where I struggled. Rather, it was the moments of downtime when I longed for the distraction of my phone the most. The moments of boredom, overthinking, and stress are the ones that made my instinct to reach for my phone kick in.

Despite my failed attempt to go 24 hours without my devices, I realized something valuable about my habits. In moments when my mind is left to wander, wonder, and conjure up worries and fears galore, instead of turning to God, I foolishly turn to my phone. Instead of taking a moment to pray or seek God’s voice to snuff out these anxious thoughts, I use my phone as a fleeting source of temporary escape.

This left me wondering: What if every time I went to escape to my phone, I turned to God instead? How much more at peace would I be? I plan on maintaining this mindset and putting it to the test on March 6-7 when the National Day of Unplugging really happens, hopefully, I can make it longer than 12 hours this time too!

If you are interested, the entire mission and outline of National Unplugging Day can be found here. And even better, if you decide to join in on the fun this year, you can start by signing the Unplugging Pledge.

If I can survive, so can you!

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