The Big Turn Off

What is #TheBigTurnOff? Is it some media campaign to protest 50 Shades of Grey? What jumps into your mind with the words “turn off?” Is it a negative reaction? Is it peaceful or is it repulsive?

#TheBigTurnOff is, quite simply, the act of:

(1) turning off your phone; and

(2) focusing that attention on your partner

Wow. I know that’s not something we need to be told. We know this… but Valentine’s Day is just the most obvious day to be reminding to do this (or to start doing every day). Heck, maybe even stretch it to your entire family, kids included. I can’t take credit for this idea by myself. I started blogging about something else this week when I saw the hashtag #TheBigTurnOff flooding my Twitter feed. I was curious and was instantly rewarded. Headspace started this campaign and I think it’s fantastic. It’s something so clear and obvious but sometimes maybe we need a little push, or a full-force shove. If you’re on Twitter, please check out: @Get_Headspace #TheBigTurnOff

Here’s the deal….

Valentine’s Day is approaching. Fast. For some, it’s a stupid, silly Hallmark holiday. For others, it’s a big deal. And still for others – like me – it’s somewhere in the middle between stifling commitment and nice time with your loved one(s). As a kid, my parents made it more of a family event than a partner holiday. If you don’t have a significant other to spend the day with, maybe it’s a good time to focus attention on kids, family members, friends, furry friends, etc.

I’ve embraced #TheBigTurnOff and have committed to use Valentine’s Day as a day for truly enjoying love. My goal for this Valentine’s Day is less about sending flowers or finding the perfect restaurant (nachos at home when my wife gets off from work late Sat. are more in sync with our lives), and more about focusing on something far more important.

My hope for everyone this Valentine’s Day isn’t for every person to have the “perfect” romantic day but to:

Be present and focused on the person you love.

Not just with flowers, chocolates, teddy bears or jewelry, but give him/her/them/your furry friends/etc. something far more important….

Your attention.

Not just short moments of eye contact but actual fully-engaged attention.

Here are some videos from the campaign:



If you want to make more of a statement in your house, I even suggest considering one of these, which you can find on Etsy:




I think it’s worth looking into iPad-sized boxes or even TV-sized boxes. However, I do recommend against kid-size or spouse-size boxes.

I challenge everyone to do this: instead of posting on FB about your 11 pm pajama-wearing adventure to the grocery store to pick up last-minute V-day cards because your at-home project failed or venting about the heart-shaped candy crap that’s filling your household, just put the iPad down, sit, watch, enjoy and embrace the time and energy with the family! You could always post to FB on Sunday!

So, please join me in turning off the cell phone and paying attention to your partner, your kids, your family and really hear what they have to share with you.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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