Saturday, April 19, 2008

Texting while driving? Time to unplug

Go to Reuters original
LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Sharon Sarmiento knew it was time to unplug when she realized she was blogging in her dreams and hearing imaginary instant messages.

For Ariel Meadow Stallings, it was the hours lost while surfing the Internet that left her feeling like she had been in a drunken blackout.

Both women are part of a new grass-roots movement in which tech geeks, Internet addicts, BlackBerry thumbers and compulsive IMers are deciding to wrest back control of their lives by daring to switch off -- if only for a day.

"I think there is some common-sense part of us that says, 'Wait a second. This has gone too far. We are too plugged-in,'" said Sarmiento, a 30-something virtual business owner and professional blogger in Alabama.

"It's like our mind is going in a million different directions all the time. So taking a day when you are completely cut off from technology forces you to re-engage with the real world," she said.

Some call it the "secular Sabbath." For others it is "unplugged day." In Quebec, Canada, professional computer developers Denis Bystrov and Ashutosh Rajekar are organizing a global "Shutdown Day" in May.


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