Why Not Unplug & Connect
There’s no doubt that the development of the smartphone has been a wonderful thing. It has allowed the world to be more connected, to easily access information and to have a freedom that landlines could never match. But on the downside, we have become somewhat addicted to smartphones and other technology. Here at The Unplug Club, we want to be a place where we step back from technology, even for just a little while.
Here are some facts:
· One in three and half of 18–24s check their phone in the middle of the night
· One in three people have had an argument with their partner about smartphone usage
· One tenth of people admitted using their handsets ‘always’ or ‘very often while eating at home or even in a restaurant
· One in ten grabbed the smartphone as soon as they woke up and a third admitted to checking their phone within five minutes of waking
Four out of five people in the UK now have a smartphone — that means around 37 million people are walking around with a device. And while the number of new users has slowed in recent years, this is because almost everyone who will have already does.
While the smartphone has allowed us to easily connect with friends and family and to stay up to date with the latest news, it has also taught us some bad habits.
How many times have you had a conversation with someone in person while looking at your phone? We’ve all done it, you chat away to your friend you met for coffee while your attention is on your latest Facebook update. And the worst part is your friend is probably doing the same! Kids are even starting to send IMs to each other while sitting in the same room rather than talk to each other.
Another sign of overuse of smartphones is that we get anxious when we don’t have our phones with us. Sure, you can understand some nerves if you are driving in case you breakdown. But have you ever walked to your local shop, forgot your phone and felt nervous because of it?
The Unplug Club
Recognising these traits in ourselves was what led to the founding of The Unplug Club. No-one is saying we need to get rid of smartphones and go back to the time where a phone was tied to the house. But we do need to maintain those habits and traits that sometimes can be lost amid smartphone use.
The Club is a gathering of like-minded people who get together across London to spend some time together without technology. It might be for coffee, evening drinks or a lunchtime meal — there’s always something different going on.
It is a great chance to connect with people face to face, to chat without a smartphone in your hand and to spend some time away from the internet. By unplugging, you can enjoy some time spent away from the stresses of the online world and constant pressure of notifications and get back to those real world basics.
Check out the calendar for upcoming events and see what works for you — it will be great to see you there!