Things to do without tech: Global Day of Unplugging 2023

Phones have become a staple in everyday life for most of us – last year it was estimated that we spend a third of our waking time on our phones on average!

Although phones and technology in general can be hugely beneficial in modern life, they are not without some downsides. Research has found health and human connection can be hindered by an overuse of tech, with relationships, sleep and vision being particular areas of concern.

This is why the National Day of Unplugging campaign began back in 2009. Taking place in the first weekend of March each year, the campaign has expanded into a global event that encourages people to take some time away from their screens and engage in offline activity.

Whether for just a few hours or the full day, here are some great ways to keep your screentime down this weekend.

Focus with the Forest app

We can appreciate that suddenly switching off your phone for a day may be impractical. Luckily, the Forest app is available as a great way to keep yourself off your phone while also staying contactable if needed.

Available on iOS and Android, the Forest app allows you to plant seeds in timer or stopwatch mode and as time goes on, trees grow. If you leave the app while the clock is ongoing, your trees die. It is a small thing, but it gives you an incentive to keep off your phone and feels rewarding as you watch your forest grow over time with all the trees you successfully grow by keeping off your phone.

Go on a night out with a competitive edge

Activity bars have really grown in popularity in recent years, with activities like axe throwing, beer pong and bowling becoming popular game options alongside pub classics like darts and pool. Lane7, Boom Battle Bar and Flight Club are great examples of activity bars with locations across the country, where you and a group of mates can catch up over some food and drinks while showing off your skills! If you’d prefer something a bit more low key and/or family friendly, why not dig out a board game or check out a boardgame café in your area?

Do some exercise or sport

Sport and exercise are great ways to clear your mind, one of the main themes of Global Unplugging Day. If you have not joined a gym, why not try out a day pass to see what works for you? Our post on flexible gym membership shows how you can do this easily with Hussle. If sports are more your thing, you can use Hire A Pitch to find a place to play just about any sport you can think of. Also check out our 4 best running apps and guide to getting on your bike the SMARTY way if you’re a keen runner or cyclist!

Try out arts & crafts

Taking the time to improve an art skill can be relaxing, addictive and rewarding. While you may want to use a screen for following instructions or observing a reference image, you can keep it out of the way for most part as you work away on your project. Check out how to get hands-on with your hobbies for our recommendations on different crafts to try and helpful resources for beginners.

Sit back and be entertained

The cinema is of course a suitable place to go if you are looking for a reason to turn off your phone. Today sees the release of the next instalment in the Rocky franchise, Creed III, with Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania and Puss in Boots: The Last Wish amongst other big names currently on the big screen. If you are more into sport than films, the England cricket team take on Bangladesh on today, with Manchester City vs Newcastle being the pick of the Premier League matches on Saturday.

  • SMARTY Team
  • March 3rd, 2023