I have started paying close attention to how I spend my time. The amount of time I spend hooked into my phone, computer or tv has been startling and disturbing to me. I know this is not an original problem. The digital age we are living in fills us all with the pressure to be constantly tuned in and responsive to technology. It can be really draining.
So, I did a little digging and discovered the idea of a “technology shabbat.” You can watch an awesome 5-minute video about it here. Founded by Tiffany Shlain, founder of the Webbys, the basic idea is to completely unplug from Friday evening until Saturday evening every week. Shlain says this practice has completely changed her life. She has now done it every week for almost four years. I couldn’t wait to try it with my own family.
What I discovered is this ritual forces you to slow down and be totally present with yourself and those around you. Times slows down. It creates space to engage in activities like reading, cooking, gardening, hiking, daydreaming or just relaxing. Activities I didn’t realize how much I missed! Also, I assumed our kids would be totally resistant to the idea but they were eager to try the experiment. it actually illuminated how hungry they are for this kind of relaxed family time. Today I reminded four year old Emilie that we would be doing another tech shabbat this weekend and she exclaimed, “Yes! That’s when we all get to be together and play!”
I hope you’ll give it a try and let me know how it goes. Happy weekend!
photo credit: vivian johnson photography