Turn off and tune out for Bristol’s first ‘Disconnect Day’ says digital agency

Bristol digital agency Soto has an unusual message for its contacts – on June 21 switch off your digital devices and go outside or do any other tech-free activity instead.

That is the longest day of the year but web development company Soto wants it to be remembered as the first ‘Disconnect Day’. 

Founder and owner Zoey O’Neill admits that it is counter-intuitive for a digital agency to ask people to ditch their devices. 

“The way we see it is: it’s great to do digital, to do it well and do it efficiently, but we also have to take time away from our screens and rest our eyes, our ears and our brains,” she said.

“We think it’s part of re-establishing a healthy balance between work, nature and modern life.”

She said the digital age and ‘iGeneration’ had ushered in a new flexible and laissez-faire style of working, with technology allowing work to be done from home or on-the-go, meaning we are constantly connected. 

It is the same with people’s personal lives, which are swamped with social media, apps and 24-hour news. 

“A lot of the population sleep with their phones, being the first thing they see in the morning and last thing they see before bed,” said Zoey.

“Disconnect Day addresses this, highlighting the importance of regularly taking a break and encouraging people to ‘Turn Off, Unplug, Go Out’.”

The Soto team, which works with clients such as UWE and the Department of Health, are not just spreading the word about Disconnect Day but will also be taking part.

Zoey said: “I’ll be having my lunch outside without any devices and my dog will be getting an extra walk in the morning! I’m encouraging my colleagues to take their break without their phones, to go outside and really take in their surroundings; you never know what might happen!” 

So far more than 400 disconnected hours have already been pledged by the team, clients and visitors to last month’s Business Showcase South West in Bristol, where the initiative was launched. 

To take part visit www.disconnectday.co.uk and use the hashtag #DisconnectDay to join in the conversation on Twitter and Instagram @wearesoto/wearesoto

Pictured: The Soto team

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