Thursday, 25 July 2013

Are You Up for the Unplug Challenge?

On my last post, I touched on the subject of FoMo or Fear of Missing out which you can read if you scroll down this page, or click here

I wrote that I'm more bothered about social media overload rather than missing out on what lots of people claim virtually as their perfect lives. I do acknowledge the indispensability of social media in my daily communication needs. I'm grateful for its speed, accessibility and the eclectic information I gather, but I don't want to be sucked into its lashings of triviality, and the encouragement of vanity and smugness.

Because I love donuts, I borrowed this from Sorry and thank you. Let me know which donut you like and will send you some :D

I then thought about taking a break from all the technological hype and mania every now and then. A kind of detox which I do anyway for my digestive and excretory systems which are extremely beneficial; so why not apply the same to my mental and spiritual aspects?

I was mulling over tips when I came across Sabbath Manifesto: A Provisional Guide for Observing a Day of Rest.

On their website, the manifesto is described as a "...creative project to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world." It was the brainchild of members of Reboot, an NGO that aims to refresh traditional cultures and rituals of Jewish life.

I'm not religious and don't endorse any religion, but this 10-step guide is very catholic (just means universal, for the benefit of all Catholics like me, with no intention to court controversy, and so applicable to all and nothing to do with Catholicism and the church) and I thought I'd share them with you. Each step is relative to your interpretation:


1. Avoid technology: I will revive my old propensity for hand-written notes and snail mails.

2.  Connect with loved ones: Set aside time during the week to speak to them rather than 'converse' via BBM or whatsapp, or email or private Facebook message.

3. Nurture your health: I recently cut down on sugar-free and caffeine-free Diet Coke, and am off to a fitness holiday next week!

4. Get outside: I've heard of the beauty of this lido close to home and will take advantage of the sun that's still being generous, to kick off my flip-flops.

5. Avoid commerce: Make my own 'thank-you' cards.

6. Light candles: Have a lie-in and forget about the time.

7. Drink wine: Dance more. Sing again. Have a laugh. Enjoy life.

8. Eat bread: I suppose this means nourish one's self and I'll do that by reading as many books as I can.

9. Find silence: Listen to my thoughts and feelings. And the birds chirping outside my window.

10. Give back: Be my kindest at all times (fingers crossed).

The Sabbath Manifesto suggests the core principles on a one-day-per-week basis. They're working on version 2.0. Because I love planning ahead, I'm thinking more long-term to slowly wean me from things I was happy not to have four years earlier.

An offshoot of the manifesto is the National Day of Unplugging. It's a 24-hour sunset to sunset abstinence from all these technological traps. The only form of fasting I've ever done was the lemon detox when my only food intake was a mix of maple syrup, lemons, water and top up herbal tea for 7 days. I was aiming for 10 days but had to give up on the 7th as I already resembled Gollum, crawling on the kitchen floor.

photo credit:
Gollum, for those who haven't met him. My look-alike when I'm hungry. Scroll down and you'll see we have the same shoulders.

No Blackberry, Whatsapp, iPad apps, laptop, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Bloglovin, and Blogger for 1 day will certainly pale in comparison with going hungry for 7. 

photo credit:

The next National Unplugging Day happens on 7-8 March 2014. Everyone is encouraged to participate. In the run-up to that, you can download the Unplug poster here if you'd like to be part of the pledge, state the reason you're unplugging, upload your photo on the site and be one of the faces filling up their 'unplug wall'. Some unpluggers want to connect, recharge, reconnect, or to face reality. Others took up humour to say they want to shop, unplug toasters (!), sniff bums (that's a dog by the way), flirt, get wild. Let's not get any further than that.

Arianna Huffington, New York, NY
Arianna Huffington of The Huffington Post, unplugged.

In music, I sometimes prefer to listen to the unplugged version of a song to fully appreciate the lyrics, melody, the singer's voice and interpretation. You've heard it before: sometimes, less is more.

And so I unplug on the hottest day of the year when the Royal baby was born.

If doing all 10 per week is hardcore, which unplug challenge would you take up first and what would you do?


  1. Ok...I don't want to sound "smug", but I think I do those things daily & I still blog. I find I am a producer & sharer, not a just consumer of social media. I think ALL things in balance are good. It is the balance part that people have trouble with, right? Strike the right balance & you can do and EAT it all.
    Also...u resemble Gollum NOT!! Gorgeous girl!!

    1. Hahaha...not you Kelly. No smugness at all :D
      Love that thought: producer and sharer. Most people are plain consumers.
      Yep, everything must be in moderation
      Haha, I do turn Gollum-ish when I'm famished. Just told Colleen, below, that food is my precious ring :D

      Thanks for the compliment though.

      Have a lovely weekend xx

  2. Great post: from your comment on my blog I think we have the same feeling about social media. I think I was going through a detox when I was having my little break from blogging, and I do surprisingly feel revitalised!

    I think I follow all of those principles, some with more effort than others.

    Behave you, no part of you resembles that creature.

    I would unplug to read a good book on my own with a glass of Baileys, because I just don't read enough any more unfortunately.

    Anyway have a relaxing weekend hun xx

    1. I did think you were going through some sort of 'cleansing' while distancing yourself. It was good, eh? :D

      I'm sure it will be great to be away from time to time.

      I am grumpy when I'm hungry...and food is my precious ring. Hahaha.

      Enjoy reading more!

      Have a relaxing weekend too x

  3. i love this post! even though the unplug day isn't til next year, i'm going to try to do it this year. i don't feel so bad when i'm without my phone, but i think i'd be sad not to be able to instagram something beautiful or delicious!

    1. I'm new to Instagram so I won't feel as bad. But I do like looking at others photos. I consciously do not follow anyone or let people know I have an Instgram account until they find me. It's social medium but sort of my little room tucked away from Facebook :)
      I'll try my best to unplug once a week. Goodluck to me!
      Thanks Phoebe! Have a lovely San Diego weekend :D


  4. Firstly, the 'Social Media Explained' is brilliant! Unplug Day may not be until 2014 but I think I may just try this on a regular basis e.g. once a week! I'm just trying to remember what it was like to have a normal phone with no access to emails or the internet - I suppose people didn't expected an instant response then!

    1. I couldn't agree more! Thought it was hilarious when I saw it. It seems many people are interested to give it a go sooner than 2014. Yeah we live in an 'instant' world. Wouldn't hurt to slow down periodically :)

  5. I always liked that little bit about social media with the doughnuts metaphor. . As I previously mentioned in your other post, I do like to unplug and not get sucked into social media. I have recently come back form two holidays and now back to work so I think I shall be okay at least for a week. haha. :) /Madison

    1. Hi Madison, I'm trying to hold back! Just came back from my holiday and there's so much to talk about. I did well while away though. Only posted a few photos via Instagram as you know.
      More soon my dear xxx

  6. Sounds like good advice. I would say that one shouldn't even let it get to the point where such measures need to be implemented. Leading a balanced life, day after day, should do the trick.

    1. I agree with you Anouka; we shouldn't really let it get to the point where we have to set rules to control ourselves from being sucked into the hypnotic world of social media. However, as it's a massive part of modern life (and is quite indispensable for most), it's a social malady that could use a check-up every now and then. A detox/cleansing from time to time wouldn't hurt :)


Thank you for reading. Your turn; let me know your thoughts :)

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