National Day of Unplugging with Reboot

Partner Spotlight

Reboot is a cultural nonprofit affirming the value of Jewish traditions and creating new ways for people to make these traditions their own. It produces creative projects that spark the interest of young Jews and the larger community – in the Bay Area and nationally. National Day of Unplugging is one of their flagship projects.

National Day of Unplugging was established by Reboot in 2010 after its recognition that people are tired of constantly being plugged in. The expectation that a person is always reachable has created a society of people who are often on edge, overwhelmed, and disconnected from those around them. National Day of Unplugging promotes not just one day of unplugging a year, but a lifestyle change. The goal is for people to pause and reflect on their use of digital devices, leading them to become more aware of technology’s impact on them, and to find a healthy balance. This way, they will be able to recharge themselves and reconnect with those around them.

“Many people have lost the balance in their use of technology,” notes Tanya Schevitz, Reboot’s national communications manager. “They are no longer able to sit alone and be comfortable with their thoughts. They don't know how to be bored or strike up conversations with random people at a restaurant or bus stop.” This is why she advocates that people take control of their technology so that it doesn't control them. “We urge people to take this day as a reminder to bring their use of digital devices back in balance; to embrace the wonders of technology but to also embrace the reality and people around them.” Tanya also encouraged her children to unplug and forego their usual Saturday morning of video games.

Cell phone sleeping bags on display at Shabbat at the Aquarium to help guests unplug for the night

National Day of Unplugging is an inclusive Jewish event – open to all interpretations of "Jewish" – with roots in the Jewish tradition of Shabbat, as a proscribed time of rest for Jews. The project continues to be guided by the Sabbath Manifesto, which encourages people to apply 10 core principles to their lives once a week. This modern day of rest is for people of all backgrounds, and provides a way to restore balance to our increasingly fast-paced lifestyles and reclaim time to connect with family and friends.

Reboot invites communities to plan their own unplugged events and partners on events for National Day of Unplugging. One such event this year was Shabbat at the Aquarium, hosted by Reboot and Adam Swig, at the Aquarium of the Bay in San Francisco in early March. Adam, a Bay Area innovator and convener of Jewish young adults, saw the event as a great way for people to gather and enjoy being together for Shabbat. He also organized for proceeds from the night to benefit, a Bay Area nonprofit that seeks to protect and inspire conservation of the San Francisco Bay, and helped make the event both about unplugging and giving back.

Adam Swig (center) and guests enjoy Shabbat in the aquarium's tunnels

200 guests joined Rebooters and others under the surface of the San Francisco Bay, singing lullabies to the otters, schmoozing with both old and new friends, and noshing on Little Star pizza, with a glass of wine in hand, all without the benefit of technology. Not to mention, over $10,000 was raised for watershed conservation in the Bay Area!

Over the last five years:

• 1.3 million unique visitors have traveled to Reboot’s website
• Reboot has hosted 71 live events, drawing more than 160,000 participants
• 600 organizations have become community partners, from which more than 350 live events have sprung, engaging more than 30,000 people
• 30,000 active subscribers have signed up on Reboot’s interactive program sites
• 19,000 have made contributions of content to these projects

National Day of Unplugging Fun Facts:

• 30,000 participants last year, and 70,000 over the past three years
• This year, about 45,000 people took part in direct activities put on by 270 organizations hosting events
• Over 7,000 individuals have taken the pledge to unplug on our website
• Every year, tens of thousands of people at a minimum participate in their own way

For more information on Reboot, please visit their website.

Categories: Events, Grantees


March 15, 2017