I traveled back from London, UK to Toronto last Friday, May 16 after a week of working, and I was dismayed to read the headline article in the Daily Mail about a recent study linking heavy internet to negative outcomes for our youth (click on the image that follows or the link beneath it to read the article.)
Not that I hadn’t been hearing rumors about the negative effects of online and the lack of good, solid communication skills prevailing in North America and Europe (and not just in our young people) … I just didn’t expect the widespread results found in this latest research.
So, I’d like to declare Sunday August 3, 2014 as National Offline Day! (Here’s the link to the Facebook event page I created: https://www.facebook.com/events/1492244714326734/?source=1#)
The intention is to unplug for 12 hours from social media and be a day for families, friends, and especially children to reconnect with each other and meet people the old-fashioned way – in person!
Here’s what I propose: Sunday August 3, 2014 from 9am to 9pm (in whatever time zone you are) commit to go offline and unplug for 12 hours! (After 9 pm, post photos of your experience and add comments to the Facebook event.)
You can use your cell phone to MAKE CALLS only – no texting, no Facebook posts, no tweeting, no email – for 12 hours. Spend time through direct one-on-one contact with your kids, your friends, meet new people, get in contact with your fellow human beings (or connect with the good in yourself!)
Have a picnic, a beach day, a craft brew bottle share, a bbq – anything you normally would do – but without any online exchange. Will you support this – what do you think?
Share the idea around, and let’s just do it! Can we make National Offline Day August 3, 2014 happen?
Here’s the article in the Daily Mail May 15, 2014 you can read for yourself, the Headline speaks volumes!
While I don’t agree that the Internet CAUSES mental illness (in the same way that the internet cannot cause weak ankles, poor vision or the like) – I do agree that we have nurtured unconscious alienation from each other through “the advancements in communication” technology.
Kids are the first to suffer from a lack of physical love and words of affection – exacerbated with technology. Kids need connection, hugs, kind words of affirmation – in other words direct human contact!
That’s the reason behind National Offline Day August 3, 2014.
(Sidenote, I do agree that the internet has many positive results such as creating community among those who feel alienated in offline life, but bear with me for a moment.)
Online technology has become an excuse for poor one-on-one communication – regardless of age!
Communication experts note that messages received rely on body language and tone, with only 7% of the message getting through based on the chosen words. With today’s instant messaging and other online forms, 100% of the message relies on words (or stupid acronyms like Laugh Out Loud – LOL.)
Let’s make a point of getting in touch with each other this one day a year (to start) and maybe create it more often too!
Have a great week (as you read this post online! And probably were alerted to it by Facebook or Twitter… LOL!)