National Day of Unplugging Comes Friday, Possibly to Your Home

By Catherine Sherman

SEATTLE (Zillow) — A trend is trickling into real estate decisions, but it’s not just a popular shade of paint or pattern of wallpaper. People around the world are choosing to “unplug” their digital lives and, in the process, redefine the home.

“When people are looking at a house, they are not thinking, ‘Where can I plug in my iPhone?’ Dreaming about a home is really based around family,” said Tanya Schevitz, communications coordinator at Reboot, a think-tank of sorts behind the unplugging movement and other projects inspired by Jewish traditions. “It’s about envisioning a more relaxed family life that isn’t ‘turned on’ all the time.”

This Friday marks the fourth annual National Day of Unplugging, a 24-hour hiatus from technology started by Reboot. The group formed in 2002 when founder Dan Rollman was gazing at a sunset in Park City, Utah, and said to himself, “I never do this. I never take time to enjoy my surroundings.”

Fast-forward to today, and hundreds of thousands of people from San Francisco to Venezuela and Mumbai are stepping away from their digital devices for the sole purpose of recharging themselves.

“It’s a zeitgeist of living in the moment,” Schevitz said. “We’re not saying you have to unplug for 24 hours — just be more aware of your use.”

Schevitz and others have taken a pledge to ditch technology from sundown to sundown March 1-2, but the day promotes a prevailing lifestyle change. As a Silicon Valley-based mom, Schevitz knows this is easier said than done, yet she’s convinced that once you start to unplug, you’ll look at your house differently.

Without any major renovations, Schevitz has refocused spaces in her apartment to help her family spend time together without digital distractions.

The key? Setting guidelines for yourself. Check out these five tips for unplugging your home: