8 Videos to Make You Think About How You Use Technology [LIST]

Digital detox, unplug, disconnect to connect – call it what you will. This thought-provoking collection of videos will help you take a break and recharge.

Oct 13, 2014
Special Collections: DISCONNECT TO CONNECT
A woman relaxing in nature

Relaxing in nature (Shutterstock)

How many times have you checked your phone in the past hour? What about your email? Facebook notifications? Any other apps or social networks? New media provides a multitude of good doing opportunities – like these inspirational campaigns – but sometimes it’s just time to recharge – literally and figuratively. To “disconnect to connect,” unplug, or digital detox.
Of course, there is a certain irony in watching videos about limiting technology use – and here, moderation is key. Sit back, shut down all your other browser tabs, and allow this collection of clips to inspire you. Evaluate your own use of technology and have a think – what could you be doing differently? In what ways is technology serving you well, and helping you to make the world a better place? What might you like to change?

1. SWITCHING OFF WITH SESAME STREET

Bert from Sesame Street teams up with actor Zachary Levi for this upbeat and catchy tune, "Lovely Sunny Day" about enjoying a beautiful day outside. This sweet clip encourages people to put down their various screens and appreciate the natural, non-digital beauty all around.

2. LEARNING TO BE HUMAN AGAIN

This eerily accurate clip is a promotion for Human Mode – an innovative application which helps shake smartphone dependence and the flow of non-stop communication. After choosing a session length, and firing up the app, calls, messages, emails and all other internet-based notifications are deactivated. Then, when your session is over and you’re ready to reconnect, you get a full summary of everything that went down on your device - while you were off interacting with the real world.

3. LOOKING BEYOND THE LIKES

This artistic piece – starring actress Kirsten Dunst – explores the other side of social media’s non-stop flow of likes, comments, shares and follows, where online behavior leaks over into real, person-to-person communication.

4. TURNING OFF IN THAILAND

This moving clip comes from an unlikely source - Thailand's second largest mobile phone company, dtac. It shows a father, a sister and a lover as they realize the beauty of putting their smartphones down for a minute, and connecting with the people around them. Remind you of anyone?

5. MAKING THE MOST OF TIME OFF

Emails, telephone calls, meetings – these are some of the key elements of a typical work week. So when the weekend rolls around, how do you disconnect and actually enjoy your free time? This short but informative video from Epipheo reveals the secret to taking a real break and making the most of the weekend – doing something unproductive! Some ideas to get you thinking: go on a hike with friends, read a novel, or get creative and make something from scratch.

6. BEING MINDFUL AND PRESENT

In this lyrical, rhythmic video, artist Prince Ea shares a Spoken Word poem on the topic of technology – and he’s speaking some beautiful sense. The DJ imagines a world where we “smile when we have low battery” – because then we’ll be “one bar closer” to connecting with one another. His simple message? It’s all about balance, about being mindful and present.

7. DOING GOOD AND DETOXING

If you're in the mood for a digital detox-flavored challenge, UNICEF’s Tap Project is perfect for you. The innovative initiative sees donors fund one day of clean water for a child in need, for every 10 minutes that you can go without touching your phone. So on top of recharging your mind, you’ll be helping the 768 million people around the world without access to clean water.

8. LAUGHING ABOUT IT

This tongue-in-cheek ad is the cherry on top, a clip which shines a humorous light onto the ever growing obsession with self-documentation on new media – in order to advertise State, a new social application. Whether it's Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, the video raises questions about how connected we are to our technology.

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