It's a sad commentary when we need an app to remind us to "unplug" from technology.
In a bicoastal effort, two nonprofits are asking San Franciscans to dump their cell phones, computers, and iPads for one day this weekend and get back to the good old days of live conversation. Ironically, they are using a new app to spread the word.
In its second annual National Day of Unplugging, Reboot, a New York-based nonprofit, is working with VolunteerMatch in San Francisco, to encourage this "digital detox," starting Friday. It's a slow growing movement to return to the day of reconnecting with friends and family --- in person.
While apps like FourSquare allow us to "check-in," alerting people where we are and what we are doing, this new Reboot app will do just the opposite --inform your online network that you will not be available online for the day.
"Believe me, we get the irony of using a high-tech app to announce a
low-tech day," said Tanya Schevitz, with Reboot. "But there's not a better way to tell your
followers that you won't be on Twitter of Facebook."
"We've had people who say it's made such a difference in how they connect with their teenagers," Schevitz says. "Taking some time to actually sit down and talk over dinner, instead of everyone being on their cell phone and texting and tweeting each other."
That's something to "like" on Facebook.