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Unplug to Connect!

Published April 16, 2019 21:25

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On June 7, Okanagan Boys and Girls Clubs are inviting our community to join us and Unplug to Connect and celebrate our 60th Birthday with us! For at least one hour, we ask people to spend time together and participate in a variety of activities that allow them to interact with their friends and share the kinds of experiences that can only happen when people put down their phones and make time for real connections. We invite you to be a part of this inaugural year and launch Unplug to Connect as a monumental day for Canadians.

Unplug to Connect encourages all Canadians to spend more time with friends, family, and co-workers, and less time in front of their screens. For one hour or more, unplug from your devices and connect with the people around you!

Why Unplug to Connect?

We all know that the internet and smartphones are changing the way that people connect with the world around them. Technological devices are designed to connect us with others, but they are also causing us to feel isolated and alone.

The percentage of teens with smartphones has jumped to 89%, while studies show that their psychological well-being decreases dramatically the more time they spend on screens. As a result, anxiety is on the rise, especially among kids and teens, as they feel the need to be “plugged in” at all times.

At Boys and Girls Clubs, we know that building relationships is an important life skill. And at our Clubs, kids spend time away from smartphones and computers every single day—playing together, learning together, and being mentored by caring adults.

60 Reasons and Ideas to #UnplugtoConnect

This year to celebrate our 60th Anniversary we will be sharing 60 reasons and ideas to join us on June 7th as We #UnplugtoConnect. Follow us on social media, share and like our post but most importantly mark your calendars and join in on the fun.

  1. Today, people consume 3x as much information as they did in the 1960s
  2. 61% of people can’t ignore their electronic devices. They check them within an hour after getting an email, text, or alert
  3. 3 out of 5 people spend more time on their computer then they do with their significant other
  4. 73% of people believe their use of electronic devices has contributed to stress in their life
  5. 81% of people admit to interrupting conversation, mealtime, or playtime with family or friends to check their social media, text messages, or email
  6. 61% of people have felt jealous, depressed, sad or annoyed after checking updates on their social media devices
  7. The internet and smartphones are changing the way that children and youth connect with the world around them
  8. Anxiety is on the rise, as kids and teens feel the need to be “plugged in” at all times
  9. Technological devices are designed to connect us with others, but in many ways they are causing us to feel isolated and alone
  10. Attend a Special Event taking place at our Club
  11. Host an Unplug to Connect Relay
    a. Not everyone can realistically unplug from all devices for the day, but an hour is manageable for almost anyone. Provide a signup sheet and ask employees to sign up for 1-hour time slots on June 7th
    b. We encourage staff during this hour to walk to each other’s offices to talk face to face rather than sending emails
  12. Host an Unplug to Connect Lunch and Learn Pot Luck!
    a. On June 7th, invite employees to each bring an item to contribute to a shared meal together in a common space. No electronic devices allowed.
  13. Most teens check their phone approximately 86 times per day.
  14. Late-night phone use is linked to depression, lower self-esteem, and reduce coping abilities.
  15. Studies show that spending 5 or more hours online per day has negative effects on mental health and well-being.
  16. “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.” —Anne Lamott
  17. Powering-down helps remove unhealthy feelings of jealousy, envy, and loneliness.
  18. Powering-down combats the fear of missing out.
  19. Solitude is harder to find in an always-connected world. Solitude grounds us to the world around us.
  20. Life is happening right in front of you. You have to turn off technology to truly enjoy the moment.
  21. Power-down for one period of time each day. Choose a specific period of the day to intentionally power-down. Maybe the first hour of your day or the last but power down and see how you feel.
  22. Stress Recovery - Researchers at Kansas State University have found that although we may resist it, we really do need down time after work to mentally recharge for the next day.
  23. Unplugging after work or school helps you recharge
  24. Unplugging makes you sleep better.
  25. Unplug and give your brain a break.
  26. Unplugging gives you a chance to build your “Real Life” relationships.
  27. Unplug to make room for revisiting old hobbies or starting new ones.
  28. Unplug and do a digital detox where you take a period of time when you abstains from devices like smartphones, computers, wearables, or tablets in order to reconnect and ground themselves more fully to the physical world.
  29. Gather family or friends over a meal and bring up the topic of unplugging. Ask what they think about it. Discuss the merits. Discuss the downfalls.
  30. Put the phone out of sight. Designate a basket or place or cupboard where devices are stashed during unplugged time.
  31. Make a plan for what you will do when you do unplug. You will feel anxious and reach for your missing phone. You may even feel a phantom buzzing in your pocket. It helps to have something fun to do.
  32. Create a family tree. Take time with your family to discuss your childhood, family history, stories and memories. Have each member share one memory and fill in their section of the tree. Create a beautiful piece of art that your family could hang for generations.
  33. Cook favorite family recipes. Cook the recipes that warm your heart and soul.
  34. Have a family book club. Pick a book that appeals to everyone in your family. Read it together and discuss over a meal. Have kids create art based on themes from the book.
  35. Go for a long walk in a park near your house or even a national forest.
  36. Lead a nature scavenger hunt. Print out a map before hand or bring an old-fashioned guide book. Print out pictures of items for the kids to find. Bring along a bag to collect items for an art project later.
  37. Do yard work. Mow the lawn. Plant flowers. Get rid of weeds. Start the vegetable garden you’ve had on your “to do” list forever. Get dirty.
  38. Set up a family obstacle course in your yard. Compete against yourself to improve on your individual times.
  39. Hand write a letter to a friend and mail it off....remember the box that says Canada Post?
  40. When You're Off Duty, Mean It! Make weekends and vacations true relaxation times, not just lighter versions of your weekday workdays.
  41. Get off the grid once in a while so you have to unplug.
  42. Unplugging saves your energy bill. It may not be much, but the average desktop computer that’s left plugged in all day and every day for an entire year will cost you at least $50 a year.
  43. Reduced body pain.Ever heard of “text neck” or “tech neck”? That’s the new lingo people are using to describe the strain you put on your neck and spine from glaring down at your smartphone or computer monitor for so long.
  44. Improved memory retention and mood.Even just unplugging for a day once a week is enough to give your brain a reboot, which can improve your memory and lift your mood.
  45. Enhanced productivity.You’d think that you need constant access to your social notifications, your email inbox, a bunch of tabs open in your web browser and all sorts of other things to be more productive. But it’s really the accumulation of interruptions of those things stealing away your ability to get things done.
  46. Unplug and Meditate.
  47. Visit your local library.
  48. Unplugging encourages people to actually talk to each other.
  49. Unplugging forces us to look you in the eye.
  50. Unplugging can give kids and adults a challenge.
  51. Unplugging helps you connect to different learning styles.
  52. Unplugging encourages all of us to think outside of the box.
  53. Unplugging fosters emotional intelligence.
  54. Unplugging calms the mind.
  55. Unplugging might help you get more vitamin D.
  56. Unplugging gives us a better relationship with the natural world.
  57. Unplugging helps us all focus on the RIGHT NOW.
  58. Disconnect to Reconnect.
  59. Celebrate the little steps you take to unplug to connect.
  60. Join us on June 7th as we unplug to connect with our kids and the community. Contact your local Club to see what we are up to.
Unplugging by itself probably won't work some magic in your life. But if you spend that digital-free time focusing on your relationships and activities you enjoy, now that can make your life better.
Tools to help you join in on the fun! 

Contact Richelle Leckey at rleckey@obgc.ca for more information.

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