by Axel Yberg.
Around this time last year, I was struck with a disturbing realization: for the previous decade, I had spent most of my waking hours staring at my phone. That’s over 20% of my life and, far worse, 100% of my children’s lives. Somehow I had convinced myself that it kept me connected and informed me in ‘real time’. But the truth is, it was disconnecting me; from my family, from my friends, from my place in the real world. And, I was setting a horrible example for my kids (Orion, age 9, and GG, age 7 at the time).
That night, when I got home from work, I turned off my phone and began a self-imposed digital detox. The effects were immediate. I felt better. I felt connected. I felt alive. I felt so good that I was compelled to inspire others to turn off their devices and, hopefully, start a movement. Something that gets people out in the world living and connecting instead of staring into their phones, like I had been doing.
This idea needed a name; something to shout out loud. I liked the sound of ‘Log Off’, but wanted it to be a little bit abstract, more intriguing and hopefully memorable. ‘Laug Auf’ popped into my mind. In a stroke of synchronicity, “laug”, in Estonian, means “eyelids” and “auf”, in German, means “open”. Mash them together and it becomes “Eyes Open”.
Laug Auf reminds my family to manage our ‘device time', inspiring us to limit our digital distractions and be present with one another. Hopefully, Laug Auf resonates with you, too. If it does, please tell a friend. Because together, one by one, with our eyes truly open, we can spread this message and, who knows, maybe even change the world.
Join us and Laug Auf!