The inaugural 7til7 Challenge held nationally from April 19-25 encouraged Australians to take control of their relationship with the internet by actively disconnecting between the hours of 7pm and 7am each day for 7 days.
The challenge raised $15,727.48 for headspace National Youth Mental Health Foundation.
It was fronted by influential Australians the Morrissey family, headed up by entertainment management veteran Mark Morrissey who has nurtured the careers of some of the biggest names in Hollywood, Gyton Grantley of House Husbands, and Rodger Corser who is best known for his regular roles on Rush, Spirited, Puberty Blues and Party Tricks.
The challenge encouraged each ambassador to reconnect with themselves, their community and the world around them all whilst raising money for a good cause.
headspace helps young people (12 – 25 years) who are going through a tough time by providing support for problems like depression, anxiety, bullying, body image and other issues. Research shows that 75% of mental health disorders emerge before the age of 25. By treating these issues and providing a more holistic model of support, the risk of them developing into more serious problems is greatly decreased.
Laura Gazzola, a participant of the 7til7 challenge, says she gained only positive things and more “me” time from the challenge. Although it was difficult to not reach for her phone and laptop, Laura enjoyed the extra time spent reading books and getting things ticked of her to-do list. Laura aims to continue the challenge long after her 7 days of disconnect:
“My aim is to continue this new way of life, taking away aspects in order to continue to disconnect from the internet on a regular basis. I will ban myself from the internet in bed in order to read more, able myself to unwind properly and have quality thinking time. I’m feeling happy!"
Last year Telstra’s Smartphone and Tablet Index revealed that the average smartphone user interacts with their device more than 150 times a day and it’s statistics like this that inspired the creation of the fundraising initiative.
Gyton Grantley says although not grabbing his phone first thing in the morning proved challenging at times, he encountered a hurdle that made him connect with his daily routine in a very different way.
"Last night I wrapped shooting at 8:30pm, well after 7pm. With a call-time this morning of 7am I found myself in a serious dilemma. How do I get there with out my GPS? Amazing experience driving through town on instinct, should never have thrown out that Melways. Rediscovering old skills!”
The 7til7 team are very excited to build on a rewarding first year and watch the challenge grow from strength to strength, raising funds and awareness for a great cause.
To find out more or to subscribe to updates from the 7til7 Challenge team please visit www.7til7.com.