DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — Friday is the National Day of Unplugging, a day meant to set aside the social media taking up our time and put down the cellphones.
Terry Graves-Strieter, Superintendent of the Greene County Educational Service Center and a leader on the Disconnect 2 Connect committee, joined us for a 5 on 2 interview to discuss what the day means and what led up to it.
Graves-Strieter said that the county has been busy promoting the National Day of Unplugging for the past year and a half, starting with a series of articles published in the Xenia Gazette. A group of six public agencies came together to create the articles, focusing on the overuse of devices.
“What we’re finding is, with younger people, we’re seeing less social interaction and an inability to regulate behaviors because they’re on their devices so much,” Graves-Strieter said.
“Just mental health and comparing yourself to others with social media. It’s really become problematic. We just really want to make sure that people are aware of what’s going on with kids.”
Participating in the National Day of Unplugging could leave some feeling anxious because they are not on their phones. If you are choosing to unplug, Greene County has some advice.
“If you have anxiety about that, we suggest doing it in short increments,” Graves-Strieter said.
“Carving out a little bit of time during the day where you can be more engaged with something else, whether it’s a board game, a puzzle, talking to your colleagues. Just making sure you’re doing things in shorter increments, but then realizing that you’re gaining more quality time in other areas when you let go of your phone.”
After the day is over, county officials are encouraging the community to continue the habit of taking a step back from their devices.
“That is really our focus, too. We want this to not be a one-and-done. We want people to find that balance in their lives and making sure they’re just being mindful,” Graves-Strieter said.
“Going out to dinner and not having phones sitting around the table, making sure everybody puts them away, and just finding ways to do more of that throughout your day.”
More information about the National Day of Unplugging can be found on the Greene County Public Health Facebook page.