The great Australian

switch-off

Switching OFF screens. Switching ON life

(for 24 hours..)

Sunday 3rd-4th December 2023

 6am to 6am

can you LAST 24 hours without looking at a screen?

if your answer is no, then you're exactly the person who needs to register.

i know what you're thinking..

'Yeah, switching off for 24 hours sounds like a really great idea, but I personally can't take part because I really need my laptop/phone for work ...or I have to watch an important episode of my favourite program... or I need to post on social media that day'

But do you really need to? In fact if you're coming up with all of those excuses so easily then you are exactly the person who needs to switch off the most.

Did you know that excessive screen time can cause significant harm to your physical and mental health? And it can age you. It can also have a serious negative impact upon the people closest to you....in so many ways. 

  • Think about the person you don't really 'see' because there is a screen blocking your view...
  • Think about what you could be filling your brain with every time you mindlessly scroll..
  • Think about the thousands of conversations that 'might have been'... if a screen was never present.

IS your device really that important?

it's easy to take part in 

the great Australian switch-off

All you have to do is..

1. Decide you are going to take part.


2. Commit and take the pledge to switch off.

 3. On Dec 3rd- switch off ALL your screens for 24 hours.

some frequently asked questions

Do I need to switch off ALL my screens on that day?

Yes! There is no point in just pledging to switch off your television if you are going to spend all day on your phone or gaming console instead. We are asking you to pledge to switch off all forms of screens so that you get the benefit of a truly screen free day for a whole 24 hours. No screens. No exceptions.

you can't seriously expect me to switch off my mobile phone

We understand that it is not possible to completely  'switch off' your mobile phone for 24 hours because you need to be able to stay in contact with family/friends/colleagues. What we are asking, is that for this one day you pledge to switch off from your phone by not using it in the form of a screen. 
i.e Talking on your phone during this time is completely fine. Looking at it, scrolling with it, playing games with it, using it to search for stuff on the internet is not. If you make the pledge to switch off for 24 hours please do not use your mobile phone for anything other than talking.

What's the whole point of this?

There are 4 main reasons behind The Great Australian Switch-Off:
1. We want to create a unique 24 hours in Australia when everyone LOOKS UP from their screens at the same time.

2. We want to start an important conversation about the harmful effects of excessive screen time in today's society

3. We want to create space in people's lives for conversations that 'might never have been', if a screen was present.

4. We want to get people (especially children) moving and active, and enjoying time in the great outdoors.

I'm saving the world that day so I can't do it on that exact date. can I do it on another day?

Ideally it would be best if you could switch off on Sunday 3rd December as this is the day when the rest of Australia will be switching off. We want you to feel part of the huge movement we are creating, and know that you are part of the bigger picture, and not alone on that day. However if it is truly not possible to switch off on that day, you can pledge to switch off on a different day that suits you. Just be sure to stick with it! 

Why is it only for 24 hours?

The Great Australian Switch-Off is only for 24 hours because we are using it as a 'circuit-breaker' for screen time. It's a way of getting the conversation started and raising awareness around excessive screen time. We hope that this short window will be just the catalyst you or your loved ones might need to realise that life can be ok (and maybe even a little better) without the daily use of screens.
If you liked how you felt, what you saw, what you heard...there is nothing stopping you from having more of your own switch-off days, in your own way. We can't wait to hear how The Great Australian Switch-Off has helped to shape your screen time use going forward.

What should I do on that day instead? I'll be so bored..

Don't worry we've got you covered. Check out this list of 101 great things to do without a screen. We also encourage you to have your own Big Switch Off Picnic and spend some time outdoors with friends and family to celebrate being away from screens. One of the very best ideas is to do something that you have never done before. Why not use the time to tick off an item on your bucket list!

Why is this called the Great Australian Switch-Off? Can I take part if I am not in australia?

Yes of course! We have called it the Great Australian Switch Off because Australia is where the idea first originated. But you are welcome to take part no matter which corner of the world you are in. We would love to see the idea spread on a global level.

why are you trying to torture me?

We get it. We completely acknowledge how frustrating and painful it might be to live without your screen/s. But remember it is ONLY 24 hours out of your whole life. On average that is 0.003% of the entire time you will have on this earth. Trust me - you won't die, the world won't stop, you won't miss out. Just try and channel this very short amount of time into doing something that you have always wanted to do..... but never had time to do. You never know how your life might change because you made room for something else to happen.

Do I have to be a certain age to take part?

No! Anyone of any age and any walk of life can take part. Our goal is to have a diverse range of people aged  5-100 years all switching off together on this one day.

Will anyone be checking if I stick to my pledge?

No! This is your pledge and you are accountable only to yourself. No-one will be checking if you follow through, but if you don't you will only be cheating yourself. We encourage you to register alongside your friends/family/others in your community so that you can support each other and help keep each other on track (in a fun way of course!)

Is this an annual event?

Yes! The Great Australian Switch Off will occur every year on the first Sunday in December (i.e the first Sunday of summer!) and we hope that every year will get bigger, with more people switching off together every year. But don't put off until next year what you could accomplish this year.

Does it cost anything to take part?

No! Taking part in The Great Australian Switch Off is completely free. When you register you will receive some  free resources to help you to switch off on the day.

I am very important. there's no way I can take part because people need to be able to contact me.

1. We are all important.
2. If you are that important then there is even more reason to take part because you are a role model for people in your community.

3. If you think you can't survive without a screen then there is even more reason to switch off because it sounds like you are dependent on your screens.

4. People can still contact you through your mobile phone by TALKING.

5. It is only 24 hours of your life.

what will I personally get out of this?

1. Your back will thank you (because you will be moving)...

2. Your neck will thank you (because you will be looking up)...

3. Your eyes will thank you (because there will be less strain fatigue and dryness)...

4. Your posture will thank you (because you will be moving)...

5. Your lungs will thank you (because you are more likely to be outside breathing in fresh air)...

6. You will sleep better (without the blue light from screens disturbing your melatonin levels)...

7. There may be beneficial effects on your mental health (without endless doom-scrolling, and comparing yourself to others on line)...

8. You might accomplish things you thought you never had time for..

9. You will prove to yourself that you don't need a screen in your life every day...

10. You will have the opportunity to talk and listen to people around you without a screen in the way...

11. You will create room in your life for more important conversations...

And this is just the beginning...

Take the pledge to switch off

You'll be amazed at how you feel! It doesn't matter how old you are or what you do.

No screens, NO excuses, for 24 hours.

Registration Type
Please Select One
  • Individual
  • Family
  • School

*We will never share your details with anyone.

Switching off your device could change a life....

maybe even yours.

Did you know that even just a small break from technology can have significant impact on your mental and physical health, as well as your connection with others?

Who knows what life-changing conversation could take place when you are not pre-occupied with looking at a screen.

Countdown to the Great Australian Switch-Off
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You missed out!

Just 24 hours is all it takes.

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