Powering Off: Can You Put Your Smart Phone or Tablet Down?

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TENNESSEE VALLEY (WHNT) – How often do you check your phone during the day? If it’s ringing, you have an excuse. But many of us are quick to check for texts, messages, or scan our Facebook apps for new updates.

Yes, we’ll admit – we do it too.  You see people checking devices at dinner. In a meeting. Even in church.

It’s not an understatement to say these digital devices are affecting many facets of our lives – our jobs, our school work, even our relationships and marriages. Maybe you’ve had a conversation with your spouse or child recently, asking them to put the phone or tablet down.

Are we addicted to our devices? What toll is this taking on our relationships? What are we missing when we’re multi-tasking?

-A Pastor’s Challenge: A Huntsville pastor challenges his congregation to commit to a 21-day digital detox.

Today (Thursday, January 30) on WHNT News 19, we’ll have several special reports in our ‘Powering Off’ series. These began at 6:30 a.m. and continue on WHNT News 19 at 5:00, 6:00, 6:30, 9:00 and 10:00 p.m.

-Madison Family Eager To Take “Powering Off” Challenge
-Powering Off: Excessive Internet and Social Media Use and How to Create a Healthy Balance
-Powering Off: A Pastor Unplugs

We also invite you to take the ‘Powering Off Challenge.’  Can you cut back and limit your usage to spend more time interacting face-to-face with your family and friends? We invite you to take the pledge.  Many of us at WHNT News 19 are taking the challenge too.  We have pledge cards you can share on social media or print at home:

-Powering Off: I’m taking the challenge, you should too.
-Powering Off: Meet your parents.
-Powering Off: No texting, no surfing, just talking.
-Powering Off: I’m communicating the old fashioned way.

Take a picture holding one and email it to photo@whnt.com – we might include it on WHNT.com!

The challenge is to ‘Power Off’ and limit your device usage for 72 hours starting Thursday, January 30.

NOTE: We fully understand not everyone is able to do that, for example, if you need to keep your phone on in case your child’s school needs to contact you, or if you use your device for work or school. We understand these devices are also important for weather safety information, especially this week.  Our ‘Powering Off’ challenge is more to encourage all of us to reduce the amount of time we spend checking our phones at dinner, while we’re spending time with family and friends, etc.  We understand everyone’s situation is different, and we invite you to ‘power off’ in whatever manner and to whatever degree you can.

We invite you to take our survey below, too.