• Burton Kelso, The Technology Expert

4 Apps To Help You Unplug for National Day of Unplugging

Hey Everyone!

Looking for a way to disconnect from the technology you use in your daily life? You're in luck! National Day of Unplugging begins this Friday at sundown and lasts 24 hours. Created by the non profit group Reboot, every year they ask individuals, families and communities to reconnect by eliminate or to reduce technology use for a 24 period to remind people to take a break from all things digital. Today's technology has a positive impact on our lives, but it's ultimately created to suck you in. Every action you take is designed to keep you connected and using more. Like all things in life, technology needs to be used in moderation. Nothing can replace the importance of real-life social interaction, and putting our technology away can help encourage that. If you're looking to cut down on your technology, here are some apps you can use to disconnect:

1. Offtime. Offtime tells you exactly how much time you have been spending on every app. It also lets you put your phone in a do not disturb mode and allows you to customize the settings. If you need to make exceptions for certain contacts such as work or for family members, they can still get in contact with you.

2. ClearLock. This app allows you to temporarily block distracting apps for the duration of time you choose. Once checked, you cannot change the settings until the time elapses. This app really makes you focus on things in the real world as opposed to the digital world.

3. QualityTime. This app is perfect for those who might be addicted to their smartphones or have a hard time with self control with checking their phones. You can set limits for how much time you want to spend on an app on a daily basis. Once you hit the limit, the app will prompt you a message about it. You can also create custom do-not-disturb profiles for work, home and leisure.

4. Freedom. The Freedom app works for computers, smartphone and tablets and is designed to limiting access to digital distractions. It's calendar format allows you to input the days and times that you want to take a break from all things digital. It allows you to block websites, apps and the Internet.

Bonus: PhoneStack App. Not really an app, but a game you play when you want to keep everyone off their devices when you have real world meetings. It consists of stacking all phones on the table. It is forbidden to touch the devices during the meeting. If someone does, no matter the reason, they will have to face consequences such as paying for dinner for everyone at the table, or doing a set of chores if you're at home.

So how do you disconnect from technology? Will you take the National Day of Unplugging Challenge and stop or limit your technology use for 24 Hours? Drop me a line at burton@integralcomputerconsultants.com. Please share this information with everyone.

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