The organizers of National Day of Unplugging want you to turn off your phone.
Last year, we outlined two yin/yang macro trends: Eat, Pray, Tech (high-tech devices and services are becoming as integral to people as food and clothing) and De-teching (choosing to log off, at least temporarily), and these remain in the spotlight. The organizers of National Day of Unplugging, which took place this past weekend, recently got some 147 people to simultaneously turn off their phones at an “unplugged” SXSW party and also held a “tweet-free, in-the-moment” panel at the Austin conference.
Meanwhile, a Boston Consulting Group study on the Internet’s economic impact looks at the value people worldwide place on being connected. In the G-20 economies, “consumer surplus” (consumers’ perception of the gap between what they paid for devices, services, etc., and the value these provide) amounts to as much as $1,430 a person. BCG also pinpoints which key lifestyle habits people would forego for a year in favor of the Internet: As many as a third in India and more than half in Japan say they would give up sex, and fairly wide majorities in most markets would go without alcohol, chocolate, fast food or coffee—indicating “how deeply the Internet has ingrained itself in daily life around the world.”
The more ingrained it becomes, along with the devices that keep us hooked into it, the more we’ll see people discovering a need to detach and find a workable tech/de-tech balance.