Oct 2, 2019
If you’re old enough to remember the birth of the Internet as we know it, you probably remember the unbridled optimism that accompanied the “digital revolution.” There was no question that “the Web” was all benefit: we’d be more productive, more efficient, better educated, better entertained, better… connected. We wouldn’t have to miss a thing.
Tiffany Shlain remembers. She remembers how the birth of the smartphone made always-on living a constant. The founder of the Webby Awards celebrating the best the Internet has to offer humanity, Tiffany has also seen the costs: a generation of children less active, less healthy, less emotionally aware, and the beauty of life in general subject to disruption at a moment’s notice by the next push notification.
Tiffany and her husband Ken - a
robotics professor at the University of California, Berkley -
adapted the ancient Jewish practice of the shabbat, the divinely mandated day of rest, to become
the Technology Shabbat, where her family, including their two
daughters, foregoes all devices from sundown every Friday to
sundown each Saturday. The tradition has become beloved and eagerly
anticipated by the entire family, who refer to it as a “vacation”
and celebrate the peace and expansion of conscious, lived time.
Tiffany shares this practice in her new book, 24/6: The Power of
Unplugging One Day a Week.
- Technology is a good servant but a terrible master
- Tech addiction is real, and its effects on our minds and character are too.
- Time, experience, and joy are fuller and richer when we eliminate distraction.
- Every ancient religion has included the concept of a day of rest where disconnecting from the pace of worldly responsibilities is a mandate for spiritual health.
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“Having one day off each week shocks you anew into the realization of how bizarre it is that everyone is head-down, looking at screens all the time. That should never feel normal.”
“A weekly day without screens improves our family’s lives... it provides that same feeling of deep relaxation we get when we go away. And because it expands your sense of time, it makes your day off feel like two days in one.”
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