When I first heard of “Unplugged Day” I thought it sounded strange, interesting but strange, and I thought I might try it. Unplugging for a day, seemed like no big deal really, I mean it isn’t like I am some on-call doctor, computer programmer, or gamer that has to be glued to their devices, right? I have balance! However, when I considered turning all of my devices and communication off for a day I realized how plugged in and dependent I have increasingly become, especially over the last few years. I began to think of what effect it would have on my life if I did unplug for a day and the scary reality was that I wasn’t sure I could manage it. Am I so connected to my smart phone, computer, and/or tablet that a day without it would make me feel like I was totally unconnected with my world? The answer left me at a bit of a loss. I have come to reply on my texts, emails and even facebook status updates to keep me in constant contact with the world and the people in my life both at work and personally. In fact, there is almost a void when I do not receive a new text, email or post after an extended time. I almost felt like a junkie that needed the next update alert to be “ok” and know that everything was right with the world. Although I have access to all the information I can dream of and the world is virtually at my fingertips and as connected as I thought I was with all my family and friends with social media that I truly was more disconnected with the world and the people in it than I have ever been. I had put myself at risk to live life more vicariously through my devices than tangibly though my experiences, chance encounters or interactions with the people and world that surround me. I felt strangely at a loss and disengaged. That’s when the last few words of the President’s State of the Union address clicked in my mind: We are citizens. It’s a word that doesn’t just describe our nationality or legal status. It describes the way we’re made. It describes what we believe. It captures the enduring idea that this country only works when we accept certain obligations to one another and to future generations; that our rights are wrapped up in the rights of others; and that well into our third century as a nation, it remains the task of us all, as citizens of these United States, to be the authors of the next great chapter in our American story.
Whether or not you agree with his