Interview with Unplug to Reconnect

<dantonio@enterprisebk.com>

My name is Drew Antonio, and I am from Omaha Nebraska. I am a part of a professional development group associated with the Greater Omaha Chamber of Commerce called Leadership Omaha, where Class members are chosen based on their demonstrated community involvement and vision for Greater Omaha’s future.
 Here is info about LO - https://www.omahachamber.org/resources/talent-workforce/professional-development/leadership-omaha/.

One of our tasks for this 12 month program is to complete a small group project for the benefit of the Omaha community. My small group (we call ourselves the Mindful Holiday Loungers) has decided to do a project called 40 for 40 (we are the 40th Class for LO).

40 for 40 will be marketed to everyone in Omaha to pledge to 40 minutes of screen free time (unplugging) for 40 days. This is not an anti-tech campaign, just intentional tech; designed to help individuals to make a habit of some tech-free time each day to give themselves a "tech break" and see what it can do for them and for the people they care about... Our slogan is to "UNPLUG - Reconnect with Each Other & Yourself". Our 40 days starts on February 14th (just so happens to start the same day as lent, but is not designed to be a religious campaign). Our goal is to provide information on why it is important to unplug, and suggested activities people can do each day during the 40 days.

 

So far, we began marketing earlier this week with a FB page (https://www.facebook.com/40-for-40-2002147016691587/) and have had some great success in adding followers. We eventually plan to pay for additional promotion to reach a wider base than just our own FB friends.

 

Here is a short video that we created to help promote 40 for 40: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Knsajre0yw&t=7s

 

 

What is Omaha doing about too much screen time?

We’re asking you to UNPLUG to RECONNECT. UNPLUG 40for40 asks you to reconnect with yourself and others by unplugging from the screen for 40 minutes each day for 40 days. This means no phone, no tablet, no computer, no TV or movies, and yes, this has to be a time when you’re normally awake. ;-)

 

Why are we asking people to UNPLUG to RECONNECT?

Who doesn’t crave connection? It’s easy to feel connected in our digital world but is it meaningful connection? We believe too many of us are overly attached to our screens and not as connected as we want to be with those who matter most to us. So, after meditating for three minutes in an Omaha bar, a small group of Omaha leaders decided we wanted to help others reconnect to what matters most in their lives—and we knew people would have to unplug to do so. Hence UNPLUG 40for40 was born.

 

This is not an anti-tech—it’s intentional tech. Many tech companies’ profits are tied to how long we use their app each day, they are caught up in a race for our attention. They create ever more powerful was to get our attention using our own behavioral tendencies to learn how to hook us more deeply.

 

The race for attention is eroding the foundations of our lives.

  • Mental Health. It’s harder to disconnect, increasing stress, anxiety, and reducing sleep

  • Our Children. They are trained to replace their self-worth with ‘likes’, compare themselves with others social media presence, and have the constant illusion of missing out.

  • Social Relationships. Virtual interactions are taking precedence over face-to-face community.

 

How can your city participate?

It’s easy, all you have to do share our video and invite people to like us @unplug40for40 on Facebook.

 

If you have ideas to help your city unplug, share them on our Facebook page with the growing community of people unplugging to reconnect.

 

What will you unplug for today? #unplug #40for40