Beyond Earth Hour: three days of digital silence?

Could you go for three days without your phone? Internet access? Game console? Television? For most of our work and lifestyles, this seems like an impossibility: digital connection is often essential to our productivity, and, to some degree, our sense of connection.

Yet that’s what one small campaign is suggesting. Digital Silence started in January, and has now set March 26-28th as suggested dates for disconnecting, going offline, and “reconnecting with reality.” While complete disconnection may be completely impossible for many of us — do you really want to have your cell phone off if the kids are out? — the founders of this effort suggest picking some element of you digital life to forgo, and using that time for genuine person-to-person and community connection…

The campaign hasn’t chosen arbitrary dates; rather, it’s connecting its efforts with this year’s Earth Hour (which is scheduled for the 26th at 8:30 pm… your time zone). It’s a fitting connection, as Earth Hour 2011 includes a “Beyond the Hour” initiative: “This year, when the lights go back on, we want you to think about what you can change in your daily life that will benefit the planet.” They’ve created a separate site for crowdsourcing ideas and stories… the user-generated ideas are already coming in.

While Digital Silence has focused on the element of human connection for their initiative, energy savings certainly come into play here: the amount of energy use our digital lives create is staggering… and growing. One person’s three day hiatus won’t make a dent in this consumption… but many people making an effort, or even reflecting on the costs of all of their online activities, might.

What element of your digital life could you give up for three days? Let us know…


Image credit: Jeff Denberg at Flickr under a Creative Commons license