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Disconnected Day, Italy goes Internet-free for a day in February

Disconnected Day against Internet addiction

“Disconnected Day” is an Italian event aiming to encourage users to a moderate and responsible use of the World Wide Web.

In this article we  told you how smartphone addiction is rapidly spreading. According to recent analysis, however, Internet addiction may be just as widespread – in Italy no less than in the rest of the world. The most affected targets are especcially teenagers and professionals who spend a lot of time on the Web for job reasons.

A prolonged and constant use of Internet may have serious complications – not only social but physical. Hence Italy came up with the “Sconnessi Day” (which translates roughly to “Disconnected Day”) to help contrast this increasingly alarming emergency.

What is Disconnected Day? In the course of 24 Internet-free hours, users are encouraged to rediscover old-fashioned means of reaching out to their fellow peers, rekindling social relationships in a real life context.

A “Disconnected Day” will help us fighting Internet addiction

The Italian Ministry of Health promoted “Disconnected Day” as the first of a series of measures against Internet addiction.

In addition to the event itself, which was scheduled for February 22nd, the Ministry is working on a refresher course on the subject of “Teenagers and Internet – Internet Addiction Disorder and Cyberbullying threats”. There’s a growing concern on the effects of Internet addiction – especially among the younger users.

Disconnected Day, the Internet-free day in February
One day a year and a hour each day without internet – meet the italian “Disconnected Day”

Kids and teens are continuously subjected to Internet’s pressuring influence. Nowadays we spend more and more time online. Hence, youths are frequently exposed to the threats and menaces that come with an inconsiderate or too massive use of the Web.

As a direct consequence, cyber-bullying is also increasing dangerously. With social relations taking place more and more often on a virtual plane, so are toxic behaviors. Online bullies have an advantage over their real world counteparts, too – as they only need a screen name to conceal their true identities.

Another side effect of a massive Internet addiction is an overall awkwardness in social relations in real life. Lack of communications is resulting more and more often in forms of estrangement against which “Disconnected Day” wants to take action.

Italian flick “Sconnessi ” warns us off Internet excesses

The “Disconnected Day” takes after the Italian flick “Sconnessi” (transl: “Disconnected”), by Christian Maranziti.

The movie – starring  Fabrizio Bentivoglio, Carolina Crescentini and Ricky Memphis – is a comedy about the excesses of using Internet without any form of restraint.

The movie “Sconnessi” is a comedy about Internet addiction

The 2018 flick tells the story of a family forced to spend some weeks without Internet, in a chalet where the signal just won’t pick up. While at first the forced disconnection causes recklessness and violent outbursts, with time and effort fragile human relations are restored, and the light tone of comedy takes over what could have been a far bleaker story of depression and addiction.

The movie also sparked the #SconnessiDay hashtag for all those users who wanted to take a stand against Internet addiction.

Taking a leaf of “Sconnessi”‘s book, the Internet-free day has become a huge Italian event, prompting users to stay rooted to their real life acquaitances and relationship rather than lulling themselves in a sense of online prosociality.

“Disconnected Day” reaches out beyond February 22nd

The “Disconnected Day” event is not limited to just February 22nd, though. One day is simply not enough to  contrast such a widespread threat, whose reach is still threatening to get out of scale.

Internet users all over Italy are invited to disconnect for a hour each day – from 8.30 pm to 9.30 pm, when most people gather to dine.

Internet addiction
Internet addiction is very common especially among younger users

The aim is to bring forth new contacts between people as well as new dialogue opportunities that don’t rely necessarily on a smartphone, a Social Network, or the vast Web.

During the Internet-free hour, all devices are to be turned off, leaving users with a momentous task – that of looking other people in the eyes. What the organizators and the Ministry of Health want people to realize is that it’s possible to break free of the grip of Internet addiction  – but only insofar as we’re willing to invest our  time and commitment in the effort.

If we set out the task and we’re determined to see ourselves through, we can achieve our goals no matter how big. And fighting Internet addiction – with the help of Disconnected Day – may just be another challenge we can win, with shining colors.

This post is also available in: Italiano