Australians urged to join digital detox

Australians have been asked to give up digital technology for 48 hours to help raise money to educate school children about cyberbullying.

Can you go unplug yourself from digital technology for 48 hours?

Federal Opposition Leader Bill Shorten reckons he can only do it for a day.

On Friday he joined calls for Australians to join a digital detox and "clean the bloody garage" instead.

The 48-hour digital detox is part of a campaign to stamp out cyberbullying by the Bully Zero Australia Foundation, which provides care to bullying victims.

"Today really is about Australia taking a step back and detoxing," foundation boss Oscar Yildiz told reporters on the national day against bullying.

"Just to see what life's really like whether it's cooking for mum, whether it's going for a run, whether it's actually going outside and kicking the football.

"Clean the bloody garage.

"We want people to go back to some of those things that they miss out on and take for granted."

Money raised from the campaign will be spent on anti-bullying programs in schools.

The foundation says one in three Australians have been cyberbullied and 70 per cent are using social media to an extent "that they can't let go".

Mr Shorten, who was on hand to acknowledge a partnership between Essendon Football Club and Bully Zero Australia, said he would love to give the detox a try.

"I reckon I can go 24 hours," he told reporters in Melbourne.

Modern Australians did not need to have their phones by their bed every night, he said.

"Adults carry their smart phones around with them closer than they even carry their wallets these days.

"Australia will not have a bad day if Australians turn off their social media.

"A 48-hour digital detox will do more for the mental health of Australians than a lot of other options we've got in our busy crowded lives."

The detox call coincided with the National Day of Action Against Bullying and Violence on Friday.

2 min read
Published 21 March 2014 at 3:46pm
Source: AAP