COME Sunday, 3 December – switch off. That means parents and children turning off their computers and phones, sitting down together for a family meal, and talking through their online obsessions. The aim is to wean young people off their fixations with the internet.
Now in its second year, Campaign Unplug (全城褪網運動) is organised jointly by three Christian organisations, including the Society for Truth and Light (明光社).
Campaign Unplug this year has nine secondary and primary schools taking part.
Organisers are hoping the experience of dining together and without intrusion from online feeds will enhance regular face-to-face communication within families. A key idea for 3 December is that family members will reflect on their internet habits during dinner. There is also the hope that the unplugging exercise and the family talk that follows will lead to participants considering alternative and healthy activities.
Last year, the campaign required participants to unplug for at least four hours from 6pm. But 80 percent said that since family members or friends had not unplugged, it was difficult for them to exercise the willpower to stay offline.
“Students spending more than three hours a day on the internet find it difficult to unplug,” campaign organisers said. “The campaign aims to remind the participants that face-to-face communications cannot be replaced by interaction on social networks.”
(This article is published on Junior Standard on 20 November 2017)
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