This weekend, from sundown on Friday, March 23 to sundown on Saturday, March 24, thousands of people all over the country will turn off their cellphones, log out of Twitter, shut down their Kindles and take a 24-hour break from technology. Sounds familiar, right? That’s because the ancient Jewish tradition of observing Shabbat is the inspiration behind the third annual National Day of Unplugging.

The National Day of Unplugging is based around 10 core principles called the Sabbath Manifesto, which encourage participants to temporarily disconnect from the fast-paced, info-overloaded networks that shape our lives. Regardless of your personal religious observance, there are plenty of good reasons to follow the manifesto’s lead. It’s eco-friendly and good for the health and longevity of your poor, overworked smart phone. And more importantly, taking a break from technological distractions gives you the opportunity to relax and spend time with family and friends. To eat and talk (or sing!). To get outside, take a nap, and let your body readjust and reconnect to life’s natural rhythms.
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