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Crosscurrents

Teens digitally detox

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Hundreds of students at Schools of the Sacred Heart in San Francisco are taking part in a nationwide Tech Timeout, challenging students to unplug from digital devices for 72 hours. The private school is laced with technology: more than 700 students from fifth to 12th grade received an iPad in 2013 and most assignments are done digitally, through apps or Google docs. But now they want to teach kids the value of unplugging.

Just a few hours after they sealed their smartphones in an envelope, some kids at Sacred Heart’s Stuart Hall High School were already having withdrawals. One of the student organizers of the Tech Timeout likened it to addiction.

“I started to feel like jittery, like I’m on drugs or something. It sounds like I’m on drugs. I Just feel weird inside,” Ryley Aceret tells me. “I feel anxious. So now, I just hope, it’s like a detox hopefully, if I just clean myself.”

So far, more than 12,000 students in the U.S. and Canada have taken part in the Tech Timeout challenge. The boys at Stuart Hall had some hilarious confessions on how they fared during the challenge.

Click on the player above to hear what happened. It might just give you insight into how your own digital detox will go. Remember: The first step is admitting you have a problem.