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Local authors help people reset their relationship with technology in new book ‘Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide to Wellness in the Digital Age’

Authors Sonya Mohamed and Sebastian Slovin
Authors Sonya Mohamed and Sebastian Slovin
(Courtesy)

As the one year anniversary of the coronavirus comes and goes this month, Encinitas residents Sebastian Slovin and Sonya Mohamed are reflecting on the myriad of ways people have grappled with the reality of the pandemic. “We’ve definitely noticed a lot of people using technology a whole lot more than before the pandemic,” Mohamed said. “But we’ve also seen people beginning to appreciate the outdoors more and develop a newfound respect for getting outside.”

People’s relationships with technology, nature and the intersection of the two have been a passion for the duo for the past decade. In 2012, they launched the coaching and education initiative Nature Unplugged with a core mission to advocate for wellness in the digital age. Now after years of advocacy and research, the duo recently released an eponymous book focusing on their efforts: Experience Nature Unplugged: A Guide to Wellness in the Digital Age.

Book cover
(Courtesy)

“The intention of the book is to work with the reader as a coaching client even though we’re not able to be there physically,” explains Slovin who previously had stints as a professional bodyboarder and lifeguard on Del Mar Beach. “Nature was my refuge when I was a kid. When things got tough for me, going to the ocean was a place to find balance. And as I got older, I had this deep want and desire to do something about getting other people connected.”

That desire not only manifested itself into Nature Unplugged, but two previous books Slovin penned: Ashes in the Ocean, a memoir focusing on his father, as well as the children’s book The Adventures of Enu. “We founded Nature Unplugged nine years ago and that was around the time when the majority of Americans began using smartphones,” he recalls. “It’s all about helping someone be balanced and healthy with technology and nature in their day-to-day life.”

However, Slovin is quick to point out an important facet: “We’re not anti-technology. It’s just about using it with intention.”

“It’s resetting your relationship with technology,” adds Mohamed, noting the book has come from years of in-the-field trial and error. “What can we do with the tech in our lives to create better boundaries? That’s why we came up with something called the Four Steps to Reset.”

A core foundation of their teaching, those steps consist of creating a digital curfew, banning technology from the bedroom, finding a singular location in your home for your phone, and specifically scheduling a portion of time to totally unplug.

“There are a lot of issues coming to the forefront right now, especially thanks to the pandemic,” says Slovin. “If you feel like you’ve gone down the path of being overwhelmed with technology, there’s a different way to go. The goal of the book is to teach that skill set.”

For more information on Nature Unplugged, visit www.natureunplugged.com. The book is also available on Amazon and in bookstores nationwide.


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