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National Day of Unplugging Starts Friday Night
Written by Rachel McDevitt
Last updated on March 07, 2014 @ 6:24PM
Created on March 07, 2014 @ 5:53PM

With smartphones and social media, we are more connected today than ever before. So much so, that friends and family worry when you don't respond to a text or call right away.

Now one non-profit group is asking people to participate in a national event that asks everyone to "unplug" and relax.

Starting Friday night, the non-profit Reboot is encouraging people to drop off the grid, turn off their phones, and take a break from our always-on lifestyle. This is the fifth year for the event, that asks people to take time to reflect, get out into nature, and reconnect with others in person. The event creators say it's an unrealistic expectation for everyone to respond to everything all the time. They say it's over-whelming and that the stress takes a physical toll on us. There are also studies that say having our attention divided by our smartphones can be bad for our personal relationships.

Mental health professionals recommend unplugging on a daily basis. The Director of Behavioral Medicine at Fairmont General Hospital says that putting down your phone and living in the moment with the people around you can help you lead a healthy, balanced life.

"In reality, people should be doing this every single day," Dr. James Abel said. "No matter how busy you are, you can always set aside some time. You have to force yourself to do that, it's not going to do it for you. That's how you stay in balance, and that's how we keep our reserve and our health."

Many people in the area said they feel like they really need their phone on all the time to communicate, but a few people really liked the idea and might try it Friday night.

Taelor Curry of Greenbriar County said, "I don't think I'd be able to do it, just because I have people I need to stay in contact with and I have family traveling."

Tammy Hunt of Monongalia County said she thinks unplugging is a great idea.

"We've lost so much of the communication and everybody's so involved in their phones. I think it will just bring communication back, get to know each other," she said.

If you are going to unplug tonight, just be sure to give your friends and family a heads-up first.


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