Because we didn't watch television on Sundays growing up, one of my adult acts of rebellion has been to do the opposite. Mature I know, especially because I'm now wondering if my decision has been ill-taken. It's not just television that I can watch, there are e-mails, text messages, blogs, video games, Facebook, twitter; technology is everpresent.
Don't get me wrong, I love technology, but given that I am having trouble hearing myself think (and I think sometimes my kids are too), perhaps I need to love it a little less.
In Tiffany Shlain's film Connected she talks about her family unplugging for 24 hours — she calls it a technology shabbat. Inspired by her film, I proposed to my husband and children we do something similar, that we unplug on Sundays until 2pm.
I'm used to Sabbath observance. I've done so my entire life; I even fast 1x/month. But going without checking e-mails or tweets during a substantial portion of my day is harder than anticipated. (#Preciselythepoint).
Surprisingly, we've gotten no pushback from our kids; they almost seem relieved. Dinner has been more leisurely because they have all the time in the world. Until 2pm. My 15 yr-old son was willing to take a walk in the neighborhood. My brain has breathing space.
William Wordsworth wrote, “The world is too much with us; late and soon; we have given our hearts away, a sordid boon.”
When I unplug, the world is less with me. I take my heart back.
A marvelous boon.