Wednesday, 24 February 2021 00:57

MoodOff Day: Turn off your phone for 5 hours to raise awareness of smartphone addiction on Feb 28

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It's claimed this is the 10th edition of MoodOff day. I've never heard of it before, but can you survive 5 hours with your phone turned off on February 28?

Increased heart and blood pressure, shortness of breath, nausea, trembling, dizziness. These symptoms could be describing conditions such as vertigo or arrhythmia.

Nonetheless, we are told they are actually physical manifestations of "Nomophobia", the panic and stress many people experience when unable to find or access their smartphone.

This is where MoodOff Day comes in, but first, what’s some background?

We're told that a recent study revealed that 9 in 10 Aussies are addicted to their phones - with almost half of the population using their device for upwards of three hours a day.

Furthermore, 13% of the population experiences severe symptoms of nomophobia. The findings were identified by the "Australia-first study" on the phobia and its consequences, conducted by Monash University, which was released earlier this year.

Research also identified that users’ inability to disconnect could be endangering their health.

The use of their device in prohibited spaces was 10.3 times higher among nomophobes, who were also 14 times more prone to engage in dangerous use – such as while driving, cycling or walking. A consequence of behaviour is distracted driving, which in Australia, is a contributing factor in 22% of car accidents and a staggering 71% of truck accidents.

Even though the dangers of overusing smartphones are already frequently discoursed within the public sphere, there is always more that can be done.

Raising awareness, opposing and fighting back the smartphone epidemic, ‘Turn It Off - Already’ is the tagline of the 10th edition of MoodOff Day.

The interactive phone-off initiative advocates a more conscious and overall reduced use of technology, encouraging users to spend just 5 hours away from their devices on 28th of February.

“We are calling on all to think, connect first and then jump onto our devices”, said Tapas Senapati, founder of MoodOff Day.

“We want to encourage people-connection before technology, stepping back from an overwhelming techno-abusive year, emerging from lockdowns and social distancing”, Senapati added.

We’re told that “you can pledge your participation, challenge your family, friends or colleagues to partake and see if you can go the five hours without your phone, tablet, computer or gadget.”

To learn more, visit the MoodOff Day site, where you’ll “learn more about technology habits, ways to balance people vs devices and to support the outreach the MoodOff Day charity undertakes throughout the year.”


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Alex Zaharov-Reutt

One of Australia’s best-known technology journalists and consumer tech experts, Alex has appeared in his capacity as technology expert on all of Australia’s free-to-air and pay TV networks on all the major news and current affairs programs, on commercial and public radio, and technology, lifestyle and reality TV shows. Visit Alex at Twitter here.

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