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Kiwi Companies And Individuals Keen To Challenge Their Phone Habits

“Phone Free Day is a great cause and I am so happy to be promoting it to our students at AUT. The digital world can really consume you, and as a result you miss out on so many special things in life, such as quality time with family and friends. As the Student Wellbeing Promotion Co-ordinator, I want to show students how limiting the use of your phone can play a part in improving your wellbeing and free up time to do other things. I want students to be well and make the most of their time at AUT.”

- Komal Suratwala, Student Wellbeing Promotion Co-ordinator, Auckland University of Technology

More than 100 people and several organisations have already taken on the Phone Free Day challenge on March 19th. Whether to enjoy undistracted time with friends, deepen connections with family, or just have some time fully disengaged from the never ending world of emails, texts and notifications!

For Verity Craft, General Manager & Storyteller, Intelligent Ink, it is deep work and innovation that brought her and her team onboard:

"We live in a world that is filled with noise – and that noise often prevents us from thinking at our highest level, doing the deep work that leads to real innovation, or engaging with people properly. That's why we're really excited to take part in Phone Free Day this year – to challenge ourselves to cut down on the noise, give ourselves space to think, and connect more meaningfully."

Phone Free Day is a grass root non-profit initiative started last year by Taino Bendz, an engineer with 10 years experience in the tech sector. He’d had enough of how adults were using their phones in front of the kids and decided to take a stand. For the last year, Taino has been educating people around social media and smartphone usage, and empowering people to make a change.

Several hundred people participated in Phone Free Day on March 6th 2020 and the team also handed out alarm clocks on Queen Street. Participants included an MP and recruitment company Randstad who felt that their value “Human Forward” is very related to a balanced technology use. One participant even named his boat “Offline” in an effort to raise awareness.

Phone Free Day is now run by a diverse team of motivated volunteers from a range of ages and backgrounds, such as teaching, technology, psychology, students, social media experts, entrepreneurs and business professionals. The one thing that they have in common is that they all believe we can improve our lives and society by becoming more mindful of when our phones are helping us, and when they are distracting us. This year, the Phone Free Day team aims to empower 10,000 people to have an amazing experience using their phones less.

“We welcome all individuals, and organisations to take part, and it has been heartwarming to see leading companies being proactive in caring about their employee wellbeing in relation to our devices. This is an area some are now calling our tech-life balance.” - Sohail Kashkari, co-organiser of Phone Free Day

The recent popular award winning documentary ‘The Social Dilemma’ showed how much interest and concerns we have in today’s technology models. People are interested and motivated to find better balances for themselves. People are looking for answers. What is the best way for me to be using my phone? We encourage everyone thinking about this to have a look at www.phonefreeday.org

© Scoop Media

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