New Smartphone App Supports Digital Detox
NEW YORK, Feb. 28, 2011 /PRNewswire/ — Technology users can now “check out” of the Internet with the Sabbath Manifesto, a new smartphone app intended to spur a massive movement away from technology on the National Day of Unplugging (NDU), March 4-5, 2011.
The free Sabbath Manifesto application is available for the iPhone, Android, Blackberry and other smartphones. Users can download and install the app by texting REBOOT to 738674 or visiting www.sabbathmanifesto.org/unplug. The application allows users to post a Twitter and Facebook message announcing when they are “unplugging” from their digital communities. Users can also sign up for text messages to remind them to unplug.
The application is available from Reboot, a non-profit organization that aims to reinvent Jewish rituals and traditions. Reboot also developed the NDU to encourage young, hyper-connected, and frequently frantic people of all backgrounds to return to the values inherent in a modern day of rest: reconnecting with family, friends and the world around them. The NDU runs for the 25 hours from sundown Friday, March 4, to sundown, Saturday, March 5.
“No program we have ever launched has had as much resonance with a mass audience as the National Day of Unplugging,” said Lou Cove, executive director at Reboot. “People are craving a discrete, sanctioned moment in time to unplug from technology. They are seeking permission to disconnect without fear of missing an urgent work email or a breaking news story, and to return to what’s most essential in their lives: community, meaning and belonging.”
The Sabbath Manifesto app uses technology to shut down technology. When users “sign in to sign out,” they can create their own post or choose from a variety of messages to push out to their family, friends and followers. Messages include “Checking out for the Sabbath. If you see me texting or tweeting, call me on it!”; “Digital detox on the way. I’m checking out now” and “I just checked out for the National Day of Unplugging!”
The first NDU in March 2010 reached tens of millions of people internationally and resonated with people of all backgrounds, from Catholic to Buddhist and Muslim.
“The NDU offers a needed respite,” said Dr. Hilarie Cash, co-founder of the ReSTART rehabilitation camp for internet addicts in Fall City, Wash. “When people take a break it gives them that reminder of what it is like to live in the world, to be around people and not be constantly distracted.”
AOL’s 2010 study on email usage found that 47 percent of respondents are hooked on email, 59 percent check email in the bathroom and 60 percent check email on vacation. Kids are also constantly connected: A 2010 Nielsen study found that teenagers are sending or receiving an average of 3,339 texts a month.
The NDU, rooted in the tradition of the Sabbath, is guided by Reboot’s Sabbath Manifesto, an ongoing project that encourages people to slow down their lives by embracing its 10 principles once a week: Avoid Technology; Connect With Loved Ones; Nurture Your Health; Get Outside; Avoid Commerce; Light Candles; Drink Wine; Eat Bread; Find Silence; Give Back.
The Sabbath Manifesto was created to be entirely open to individual adaptation and interpretation. Reboot’s new smartphone app prompts users to enter 10 of their own principles to develop a modern, personal interpretation of a day of rest that can be shared broadly.
The Brooklyn Museum of Art in New York, the Jewish Museum in New York, the Contemporary Jewish Museum in San Francisco, the Skirball Cultural Center in Los Angeles and the National Museum of American Jewish History in Philadelphia are offering special deals for the 2011 NDU to those who tuck their phones into a special cell phone sleeping bag when they walk in the door. VolunteerMatch.org, the Web’s most popular volunteering network, is highlighting service opportunities to encourage NDU participants to “Unplug and Give Back” with one of its 75,000 participating nonprofit organizations.
One Happy Camper, a program of the Foundation for Jewish Camp (FJC), is sponsoring the NUD. FJC is the only public organization dedicated solely to the support and advancement of nonprofit Jewish overnight camps. Additional funding is being provided by the Koret Foundation.
Founded in 2002, Reboot is a growing network of young thought-leaders and tastemakers who work toward a common goal: to “reboot” the culture, rituals, and traditions we’ve inherited and make them vital and resonant for a new generation of Jews. Together with Reboot, this group has been responsible for producing some of the most influential and innovative Jewish books, films, music, web sites and large-scale public events of the 21st Century. Visit www.rebooters.net for more information.