In this age of the ever-present smartphone and our 'always on' lifestyle, requesting that people leave their phone alone for even a brief span of time is a hard thing to ask, but in this case, instead of harping on the lack of manners that some gadget addicts display, you can point out the potential benefit to others that doing so can have.
As part of the UNICEF Tap Project, people are being challenged to give up something they take for granted, their cellphones, in order to help supply something that's not taken lightly in many parts of the world, which is access to clean drinking water.
If you can put down your phone for just 10 minutes and leave it untouched the whole time (I know, it's rough), Giorgio Armani, the current sponsor of the Tap Project, will donate enough money to pay for a day's worth of safe water for a child in need.
"UNICEF Tap Project is working to help the 768 million people around the world without access to clean water. This year you can help by taking a challenge to give up access to something far less vital than water–your cell phone.
For every 10 minutes you don’t touch your phone, our sponsor can provide one day of clean water for a child in need."
Ready to begin? All you have to do is use your phone to navigate to the UNICEF Tap Project, follow the prompts, and then set your phone down and do something else constructive for just 10 minutes. The site accesses the accelerometer in your phone to determine if you're actually leaving it alone for the whole time, and if you move the phone, it asks you to put it down to continue.
While you're waiting to get back onto Instagram or Facebook, a timer is displayed on the mobile site, along with a series of water messages and comparisons that put things in perspective for those of us who've got no problem with getting clean drinking water every day of the week.
So go ahead. Put down your phone and help fund clean safe drinking water for a child in need.