Unplug into Nature

Technology keeps us connected in ways not possible during other times in human history. It has saved lives, improved efficiencies, and made for more effective communication. Technology allows us to work remotely, which can have a positive impact on our carbon footprint.

But technology also has consequences. Overuse can be detrimental to our physical health, disrupting our ability to sleep from excessive exposure to blue light, promoting a more sedentary lifestyle, keeping us indoors for longer periods of time where there is poorer air quality, and exposing us to EMFs (electromagnetic frequencies).

Technology is also known to shorten our attention spans and contribute to physical agitation. Using technology can increase dopamine which resides in the reward center of the brain, so it can lead to addiction similar to dependence on sugar, alcohol, or drugs.

There is a mounting body of evidence that social media can have a profound negative impact on healthy growth during adolescence. Increased social media use correlates to a decrease in happiness. One study found that Facebook use was linked to both less moment-to-moment happiness and less life satisfaction. When you get right down to it, the more we use technology, the less time we have to do other things.

Friday, March 4, 2022, was “Unplug Day” at Oak Grove. This is an opportunity to reflect on all the ways technology contributes to and detracts from our lives. This is not an academic-free day. It is simply teaching and learning without the use of the internet, computers, calculators, and cell phones.

To make this event more festive for our students and staff, we embraced a theme – Unplug Into Nature. Students and staff were invited to dress as if we were on an off-grid camping or hiking trip.

Starting at 12:01am on March 4, we turned off our cell phones, set our email to auto-response, and spent the day “off-grid.”