Moodoff Day to curb Smartphone Addiction

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Annual Event Examines Smartphone Addiction, Dangers of Texting and Driving

Smart hours for Smart people without Smartphones.

With over 27percent of adults and 47percent of teenagers in the UK owning smartphones, the addictive use and dangers such as texting while driving have grown considerably having a major impact on our lives. And, if you think smartphone addiction is not real, Tavistock and Portman NHS clinic in London have dedicated a whole unit to technology addiction alone. The dangers of smartphone addiction are fairly well-known, but the problems are not addressed nearly enough. However, Moodoff Day (http://www.MoodoffDay.org) is providing smartphone users in the UK and around the world with the opportunity to bring awareness to the problem by turning off technology for five hours during International Moodoff Day on Sunday February 24, 2013. This year’s slogan is “Smart hours for Smart people without Smartphones.”

“Why is it called Moodoff Day?” asked Tapas Senapati, founder of the movement. “Because when we ask somebody to stop browsing for a minute their entire mood is off. People discuss smartphone addiction, but the true message is getting lost in all the discussion.”

The Australian-born not-for-profit initiative Moodoff Day is asking smartphone users around the globe to stop using their devices for five hours on the last Sunday of February. Participants are asked to enjoy a morning without technology and to have breakfast and reconnect with family or friends face-to-face in real time rather than to browse on their smartphones.

The movement has gained support in dozens of countries, from Australia, South Africa, India and New Zealand, to Singapore, France, Germany, the USA and right across the UK. Moodoff Day highlights the obsession many users have with their smartphones and more fatally, texting while driving. The organisation also supports the efforts of many a family that has lost a son or daughter due to texting while driving. Clay and Shauna Sauer lobby hard to enact a ban on driving and texting. The couple, who are now devout supporters of the Moodoff Day campaign, lost their daughter Taylor in a horrific texting while driving accident (http://alturl.com/qayk4) hortly after she posted a message on Facebook, which made headlines around the globe.

In an era of instant communications and a wealth of social media sites, smartphone users are constantly surfing the web, texting and updating their social media status. Many with an addiction are in denial about their dependency despite the fact that many people acknowledge that they cannot live without their smartphone.

Texting while driving has become a risky epidemic in European society. A study (http://alturl.com/rtj2a) was released last year that said, “Essentially texting while driving doubles a driver’s reaction time.” A study was held by a Belgian road safety campaign that confirmed what many people already know and believe – that texting while driving is a poor decision. The smartphone addiction that is ubiquitous in society these days further contributes to the risk of society at large.

Just like anyone with an addiction, smartphone-obsessed drivers may realise what they are doing is bad, and potentially fatal, but they keep doing it anyway because they can’t stay away. Those with a true smartphone addiction are often unable to eat a meal or sit through a movie without checking their mobile device multiple times.

The 2013 International Moodoff Day provides participants with the opportunity to experience “Smart hours for Smart people without Smartphones.” Just five hours is all it takes to raise awareness of the dangers of smartphone addiction and the deadly consequences of texting and driving. Moodoff Day, this February 24th, is the perfect time to put down the smartphone, leave the virtual world behind, and reconnect with loved ones in real time.

To get involved, follow the event at http://www.facebook.com/MoodoffDay and https://twitter.com/MoodoffDay. For more information, please visit the website at http://www.moodoffday.org

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Alessia Cesana
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