As we ‘click to buy’ an estimated £6 billion* worth of goods over Black Friday and Cyber Monday, a growing amount of hours are being pledged away from technology on Tuesday 1st December.
We've received pledges totalling over 20,000 minutes from UK businesses and individuals and here's what we're seeing so far...
A range of businesses from the manufacturing and legal sector to construction and non-profit organisations have already signed up to get their employees away from technology.
“We are seeing companies pledge anywhere between 30 minutes and 5 hours away from their screens on Tuesday” said Steff, founder at techtimeout.
She added “Some departments have organised special activities to keep their staff engaged in different ways. We have heard about one company which is holding a Christmas desk decorating competition, with prizes for the most creative.” Other businesses are encouraging employees to take a short walk during the day to give them the chance to leave their tech at their desks and get some fresh air.
One construction company getting involved on Tuesday recognises the connection between good mental health and time spent away from technology in positive and engaging activities. Jacqui Gough, Director of SWG Group, said:
“Being a part of the Mental Health Charter, we will be encouraging people to spend time away from technology, even if it’s just for an hour, to benefit their mental health.”
Individuals and families are also pledging time away from technology, both during and outside of their working hours. We've heard from pledgers between the ages of 4 - 72 years old.
Where work commitments require constant use of technology, people have made pledges to turn away from screens at the end of their working day. One pledger comments “I am working in the day which means I have to use technology but I am going to pledge time away from my tech afterwards - to walk our dogs, to cook, to read and to try and watch a film or even a tv show without picking up my phone and mindlessly flicking through my apps!” With optimism she added “ I am also going to try and persuade my husband to join me (not an easy task!)”
phones are a key focus
A number of people are pledging all of their out of work hours without their phones. Others have pledged to ‘enjoy being present in the moment without the distraction of [my] phone’ for just an hour or two.
Another emerging variation is to limit the use of phones. One father has pledged 24 hours with limited use of his phone. He explained “I am planning to only use my phone for it's original purpose (calls!) for the entire day. I'm going to take as much of the day off as I can to hopefully enjoy some fresh air, and if it's wet probably some board games after school with my daughter and perhaps some baking!”
it’s as easy as A B C - art, baking and crafting - all set to replace screens
Pledgers all have very different plans on how they intend to spend their tech free time but art, baking and crafting all feature heavily. Pledgers have even considered the unreliable British weather and have planned a variety of dry and wet weather activities - opting for gardening and a run in fine weather and yoga and guitar practice if it rains!
Whatever you are planning, we think you are all brilliant and thank you for getting involved.
If you haven't yet pledged some tech-free minutes, you can do so here.