National Unplug Day is an annual “holiday” of sorts where people disconnect from the digital world. In fact, if you’re reading this, you’re doing the equivalent of not opening presents on Christmas morning. This is the holiday’s sixth year of age since its inception back in 2010. Ever since then, people have been disconnecting on the first Friday of every March to have a non-digital refresh of life.
Now, I know what you’re thinking, I’d rather go a week without food than go a day without technology. We’re with you. We’ve become so reliant on technology that the thought of going a day without technology is worse than meeting Satan himself. So, we’re putting together a survival kit for you so that next year, or the next time you’re in a scenario where you’re forced to unplug, you know how to survive.
Get a NoPhone
Studies have shown that being separated from your phone can cause some serious anxiety. A while ago we did a review on the NoPhone, a non-technology substitute for a smartphone. While it definitely can’t replace the functionality of your smartphone, it will give you those warm fuzzies that you need from holding your phone in your hands. If you’re on the fence, you can check out our full review here. Spoiler: It doesn’t perform well as a hammer substitute.
Find Real Friends
One of the best ways to get through a day without technology is to spend time with your friends. While it’s likely been at least six years since you’ve had a social interaction that wasn’t digital/school/church, this holiday is an opportunity to actually get together. Go bowling, see a movie, drink some Kool-aid, eat Doritos. Want to know how to “like” something a friend says in real life? High-five/fist bump/chest bump, that’s how you do it. Go to the grocery store, sing your favorite song, and see how many fist bumps you can get from your real life lyrics post inside the grocery store’s real-life Facebook page. (Sarcasm)
Don’t Drive Anywhere
Let’s be honest, the last time you navigated somewhere without a GPS was probably pre-womb. If you don’t know where it is, you can try to pull out a map, but you’ll quickly notice that pinch to zoom doesn’t work and no matter how hard you yell, it won’t give you detailed directions from point-A to point-B. In a survival situation such as these, paper maps are used to start fires, not navigate. The stars will do you better my friend.
Go See a Play
Before Steven Spielberg, there was William Shakespeare. Surprisingly, there are still people who perform in plays. Many of those people are actually incredibly talented. Find a local theater and you’ll be entertained for a few hours. If you find you’re not enjoying it right away, don’t try to change the channel; you’ll look like a fool. Also, people clap at these events when they are finished. Make sure you clap, even if the performance is mediocre and you’re cranky from tech withdrawals. You’ll make the world a better place if you do.
Do Things Outside
While most people fear the sun due to skin cancer, we once enjoyed outside civilized activities for entertainment purposes. Somehow, many of these establishments are still around. You can go golfing, play frisbee, soccer, football, and just about anything else you can think of outside. Just make sure nobody turns on the scoreboard… it’s digital.
Ask for Saturday Off
If you work on Saturday morning, the chances of you waking up on time without an alarm clock or smartphone are slim-to-none. Unfortunately, Nest cannot control when the sun comes up (yet), which would be our alternative to an alarm clock. In fact, nobody should work on this day as productivity is going to take a huge hit in nearly any profession without computers.
Buy a Musical Instrument and/or Friend that Plays a Musical Instrument
I know it’s all about that bass, bout that bass… no gimmick; but National Unplug day includes unplugging those Beats Headphones. That means hearing the bass drop is going to involve you finding someone who plays a stand up bass and having them give you some intense staccato. Live music is incredible. Attend an unplugged concert for some unfiltered musical goodness.
Play Some Games
Before video games were board games/sports/more. Risk and Settlers of Catan are two board games (non-digital) that provide an Age of Empires alternative. If you’re a fighting game fanatic, try wrestling. Be careful though, as Wall-e so beautifully demonstrated, our bones aren’t what they used to be. If you’re more into First-Person-Shooters, paintball and airsoft are some amazing alternatives that will get your adrenaline going far more than even the most intense game of Domination.
Buy Some Recipe Books, Call your Grandma
I would sincerely hate for you to starve, but let’s be honest, without the internet we’re about as good at cooking as we are at creating aliens. Youtube tutorials, online recipe sites, and even television shows like Top Chef are the primary contributors to an effective kitchen nowadays. So, go buy some recipe books, invite your grandmother over and have a merry ol’ time cooking. Your grandmother will love you for it, and the food will probably be better; because your grandmother is making it.
Withdraw Cash in Advance
You would hate to desecrate such an incredible holiday using magnetized plastic at a cash register. Both banking and ATMs require the use of the internet to access your funds. So, take money out in advance. Worst case scenario, you withdraw too much and throw a party that makes you the most popular guy/gal in the neighborhood.
This is not intended to be an exhaustive list. We rely so heavily on technology that we often don’t even realize what we are missing until it is gone. Tell us, what would you struggle with unplugging on such a holiday? How would you cope? Let us know in the comments below.