Media ecologist and journalism professor Christine Tracey of Eastern Michigan University led her students in a campaign to unplug on March 1, 2013. “Unplug EMU” was covered by a variety of local news organizations, including this story at AnnArbor.com. The event was “a big success,” Tracey said.
Susan Maushart, the device-addicted mother described in the subtitle, tells an engaging and humorous story about what happened when she coerced her family into trying a six-month experiment in unplugging.
Environmental activist Bill McKibben, who writes eloquently about the limits of technology, explored the value of unplugging from media in a Thoreauvian 1990s experiment. In this book, he compares what we learn by watching television versus by experiencing things first-hand.
A documentary produced by students at Carleton College who tried to unplug for three weeks as a class project. Will they resist temptation, or will they cheat? (What would you do?) You can watch the trailer here via YouTube, view the movie on Hulu, or purchase the DVD from the college bookstore.
This study led by University of Maryland in 2010 found that college students on five continents found it difficult to unplug—but when they did, they felt more peaceful, invigorated, happy, liberated, focused, and creative.
Jake Reilly, a grad student in Chicago, avoided cellphone, e-mail and social media for 90 days in his “Going Amish Project.” The experiment took Reilly, 24, from his normal life of following 250 people on Twitter and sending 1500 texts per month to using courtesy phones at a nearby hospital and writing chalk messages on friends’ sidewalks. He credits the project with making him
As part of its “On/Off” project, BBC recruited two families in South Korea — the most wired place on earth, where social networking was practically invented –to spend a week without the Internet. Some said that living offline was inconvenient and felt “suffocating” but others enjoyed “rediscovering lost time” to play and socialize. While one person never wanted “to go through this again,” another