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Can you unplug from technology for 24 hours?


Can you power off for 24 hours?

That means no cell phone, computers or televisions.

The National Day of Unplugging begins at sunset on Friday and ends at sundown on Saturday.

"This is day to unwind and unplug," said Dina Mann,  national marketing and outreach manager of Reboot, a nonprofit that takes Jewish-based rituals and refreshes them for today. "I hear it's beautiful in Atlanta, maybe this will be a good time for people to go outside."

The day is designed to give the hyper-connected a chance to get off the grid for a while. It might show you there is life without Facebook and Instagram. How you unplug, said Mann, is based on your interpretation of being screen-less for the period.

It gives  your mind a much needed rest from the constant pings and vibrations from email or text messages. You might actually notice the people around you - even (gasp!) have a face-to-face conversation.

How bad do we have it here in Atlanta?

A recent report from Bank of America found 77 percent  of Atlanta residents sleep with their mobile phone. Additionally,  more than four out of 10 people surveyed said it is the first thing they reach for in the morning, ahead of toothbrush (13 percent), coffee (12 percent) and their significant other (11 percent).

The survey also found that 30 percent of those surveyed use a banking app once a day, which is 10 percent higher than the national average

"We're not anti-technology," said Reboot's Mann. "It just recognizes the role it plays in our lives and how we can control our technology."

Reboot is asking people to post their unplugged photos on its website and to take pledge to unplug. Those taking the pledge will get a cell phone sleeping bag.

As for Mann, she regularly gets off the grid.

"It really helps me appreciate what I have."



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About the Author

Shelia Poole has worked at The Atlanta Journal-Constitution for more than two decades.