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The May Day Challenge

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by Startacus Admin

Join Startacus member Jay Boolkin in his promise to turn off his phone for just one day during May and experience what it’s like to have a real break. Check out the May Day Challenge...

Here's Jay's call to action! 

"Some of us have become so used to using technology that we have forgotten how to act in a world void of it.

I’m sure one of the most common phrases heard at family dinner tables nowadays is, “put away the phone”. Being so occupied with our devices means Jay Boolkinwe almost end up living our lives through them and subsequently lose connection with ourselves.

Having said that I have a confession to make: I spend a lot of time using technology. A lot. I check my emails in the middle of the night, I can’t go to the bathroom without my phone and I often text and drive (I know, idiot). Being ‘connected’ has become a normal part of my everyday life, just like breathing – it’s hard to imagine even one day without it.

If you’re reading this, you most likely have an idea you are thinking of kickstarting or have a project you are working on at the moment, or perhaps even a number of them. No matter what stage you are at, it’s no secret that trying to make your dream a reality is an absolutely engrossing journey. When it comes to online startups, it inevitably requires spending countless hours on the Internet and the phone - networking, researching, developing, learning, creating, and the list goes on. And you’ll do it all if you really believe in your idea, no questions asked.

promiseorpay.comAs an aspiring entrepreneur who is working nonstop on my startup, one of the biggest challenges I have faced recently has been simply finding time to stop – slow down, unplugged and take a breath. While I am a huge fan of technology and its enormous benefits, I am discovering that my usage habits have downsides – socially, emotionally and professionally. Staring at my smartphone as often as I do means that I miss out on the beautiful and wonderful things that happen around me (and sometimes right in front of me) every day.

My compulsion was all starting to take its toll, so a few weeks ago I had a casual conversation with a mentor about going tech-free for a few days, or even one day. He agreed that life can be very demanding and from time to time we all need a break and a chance to recharge and enjoy the things that really matter. It was from this conversation that spawned the idea for the MAY DAY challenge.

MAY DAY is about helping people reconnect with the world around them in the spirit of love, friendship and charitable giving. It’s super easy to get involved. Simply make a promise to turn off your smartphone for one day in the month of May or donate to charity. The amount you will donate if you don’t keep your promise, and the specific day you go phone-free, are entirely up to you.

So this May, let’s give our eyes, ears and fingers a much-needed and well-deserved rest.

Join me in making a promise to turn off the phone for just one day and experience what it’s like to have a real break. For me it’s going to be a strange experience, but one that I’m looking forward to."

Are you up for the MAY DAY challenge? Unplug and reconnect at

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Published on: 2nd May 2014

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