How National Unplugging Day Can Help You Save
National Unplugging Day (or NDU) is a holiday where everyone takes some time away from their screens to enjoy other aspects of life. Electronics have become an important part of our everyday life but taking the time to put down our phones and laptops can be just as important. Making the most out of the time you spend unplugged can be simple, yet very rewarding.
National Unplugging Day can help you save money in several ways. The idea of giving your electronics a rest for a day can help to breed good behaviors that will stay with you. It can spark your creativity; help you understand your impact on the environment and other people. It can even give you a better perspective on your personal habits, spending and otherwise.
Let’s learn more about how National Unplugging Day came to be, what it means for many of us, and how participating in it can help you save.
National Unplugging Day started in 2009 and normally falls on a day in March. The reason for National Unplugging Day was to draw attention to the impact our electronics were having on us and on the world around us. The idea to maintain a healthy balance between your tech life and the rest of your life became a movement.
Started by the company Reboot, NDU tries to lower the percentage of time people spend on their electronic devices. If you own a smartphone, you may be able to attest to how important it is to you at any given moment. It is not unthinkable now for people to have their entire lives wrapped up in their phones. Everything, from passwords and social media to payment cards and government identification can be found in phones now.
As technology continues to expand, more functionality is being given to our devices. Our phones can scan our faces, open our doors, start our cars, and control our homes. Not to mention the fact that we garner a near endless stream of information and entertainment through our electronics. From video games to television and even on-demand streaming, we can experience the world through our electronics.
These experiences take away from the normal, personal experiences we would otherwise have. And these electronic experiences cost us in the form of energy being used. NDU is a way to help mitigate those expenses while reconnecting us with a world we constantly become detached from.
While you may be tempted to ignore the day altogether, observing National Unplugging Day can be a wonderful thing. Going one full day without your electronics might seem like a daunting task, but it can be a rewarding one as well. Take stock of the things you use your electronics for and what they might be replacing in your life. Once you do that, see if there aren’t things you can experience and enjoy instead of relying on your phone or tablet.
We live in a world where it is news whether news is real. We receive our news from various sources. It is not always clear whether the news we get is the full story or even the truth at all. Then, even when the news has merit, oftentimes the full story is hidden behind a monthly subscription paywall.
Take National Unplugging Day and go buy a newspaper. While not nearly as popular as they used to be, newspapers were (and in some places, still are) the go-to source for up-to-date current events reporting. And while a news subscription might cost you a pretty penny, the average newspaper runs anywhere from a dollar down. Some local papers are free and can update you on any happenings within your neighborhood.
Newspapers also hold a lot more than just news. Depending on the paper, you can get coupons, local listings, and/or job offers, all in the same place. You might even get a bead on events happening in your area. Plus, it would help you learn your neighborhood to an extent where you can get around without using GPS.
Among all the things your smartphone can do these days, one often forgotten function is in its name. Instead of using your phone to play games, scroll through social media, or any number of other functions, try reconnecting with people on a personal level. Look through your contacts and reach out to people in your life. Reestablish social connections that may have weakened over time.
Making time to talk to friends and family on the phone can help reduce screen time as well. The more often you decide to reach out to people over the phone, the less inclined you may be to text, browse social media, or remain disconnected overall. The less time you spend using your phone’s data plan, the less money you’ll spend on your phone bill.
Of course, if you truly want to embrace the spirit of National Unplugging Day, you can keep your phone off altogether. The less time you spend on your phone, the more time you have to pursue other hobbies or interests. There are plenty of activities you can engage in to take your mind off your electronics.
While you might want to participate in National Unplugging Day, you might not want to just sit around and do absolutely nothing. To avoid this, prepare for the day by planning. Research places to go, events to join in, and things you can do on your own or in a group. Take the time to make a list, and then take National Unplugging Day as an opportunity to get out of the house.
One aspect of technology that keeps us tethered to our devices is subscription culture. You can have a monthly subscription to almost anything now. Workout routines, take out services, and streaming apps can take a hit on your wallet whether you want them to or not. Use National Unplugging Day to take your subscriptions and make them into real activities.
If you subscribe to a workout regimen from home, try jogging at your local park or taking a few laps around your block instead. If you weight train, consider using your own body weight to substitute the use of equipment.
If you order out a lot, consider calling ahead for your food and then traveling to pick it up yourself. A nice walk will help you save on delivery fees. Better yet, why not take up cooking? Buy and cooking the ingredients for what you want to eat can be far less costly than ordering out. Plus, you can always make more than you need and save some for later.
If you stream a lot, consider looking up free events in your area that you can enjoy. Maybe there’s a free performance you can take in, or maybe there’s a street fair or farmers market that would interest you. It is surprising how many events take place in your neighborhood daily.
National Unplugging Day won’t only apply to you, it can apply to your spouse and your kids as well. If you’re planning to take advantage of a day to unplug, perhaps you can make a point of spending some of it with your family. Plan an outing to the park or the beach. A bit of fresh air can work wonders if you spend most of your time behind a screen.
In many cases, your kids will spend more time on their electronic devices than an adult. Take them on an adventure. Whether you live in an urban or a rural area, make the most of your surroundings. Explore your neighborhood with your kids or go on a nature walk. Enjoy the exploration and the exercise on your day off from electronics.
If you’d rather not go outside, you can find plenty to do while inside your home. You can read a good book and then discuss what you read with your family. You can break out some classic board games or a deck of cards and play a few rounds. You can even explore some communal hobbies, like cooking or organizing. Getting everyone involved is a great way to pass the time, do something nice with each other, and save money on energy by giving your electronics a rest. The power of spending time with your family is almost immeasurable.
National Unplugging Day was created to give us all a break from electronics. While we need our computers and our phones, going without for just one day can significantly change our outlook on life. Become more engrossed in your community, reconnect with distant family and friends, and even make some new bonds with the family you have. You can accomplish all of this while cutting back on your energy consumption and saving you more than just money.
If you qualify for programs like SNAP, you may also be eligible for Lifeline or the Affordable Connectivity Program (ACP). Lifeline and ACP are government-run programs that help low-income consumers receive free or heavily discounted communication services.
Click here to find out more and apply for this valuable benefit.