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The techno-weary will put down their devices for 24 hours on Friday March 7 to celebrate the National Day of Unplugging. They invite you to join them.



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TO EDUCATION, NATIONAL, AND TECHNOLOGY EDITORS:

Would you? Could you? Eastern Michigan University's media ecologist

invites you to 'unplug' your cell phone

YPSILANTI, Mich., March 6, 2014 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- How many

times do you touch your cell phone each day? How many text messages do

you send? And, more importantly, what are you missing because your

life is so heavily mediated by technology?

If you're too in love with your smart phone, Netflix, or iPad, try

experimenting - just for a day - with unplugging. Friday, March 7,

2014 is the fifth annual National Day of Unplugging, when the

technology-driven stop for a moment, put down their devices, and

unplug from sundown to sundown.

Reboot, a national group of artists, conceived of the National Day of

Unplugging five years ago to encourage hyper-connected people to

ritualize a day of rest. Find out more at

http://nationaldayofunplugging.com

Eastern Michigan University Professor Christine Tracy, who teaches a

media ecology class that explores how we interact with the media and

how it affects us, is urging the EMU and surrounding communities to

take a digital day of rest.

"We all need to wake up and become more aware of our mostly

unconscious dependence on technology," says Tracy. "A day-long respite

is just the first step toward more enlightened use of our digital

tools."

Media ecologists are interested in the role technology plays in human

life and how media and communication processes affect human

understanding.

"Smart phones are good things, but we become 'dumb' when we allow them

to over-mediate and control our waking realities," says Tracy. "It is

important for us to get a glimpse of who and what we could become

individually and collectively when we abandon technology and put down

our devices - even for a day."

Tracy is the author of "The Newsphere: Understanding the News and

Information Environment," (Peter Lang 2012). The book studies how

consumers can combat disillusionment with today's news, which is often

so dramatized, commercialized and packaged that it is no longer news

and certainly not journalism.

Tracy teaches Digital Journalism and Media Ecology classes at Eastern

and holds a Ph.D. from Rensselaer. She lives in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

For further discussion, visit Tracy's website at www.ournewsphere.com.

"The Newsphere: Understanding the News and Information Environment" is

on sale at Amazon.com.

SOURCE Eastern Michigan University

-0- 03/06/2014

/CONTACT: Geoff Larcom, 734-487-4401, glarcom@emich.edu

/Web Site: http://www.emich.edu

CO: Eastern Michigan University

ST: Michigan

IN: MEN EDU HED ITE

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The Associated Press

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