One of the things people are very interested in Q&A’s about my films is the fact that me and my family completely unplug from all technology for one day a week for what we call our “technology Shabbats.” They look at me like I am from another planet and ask a lot of questions about the boundaries we create around technology. Every Friday, we all unplug from all our technologies and don’t turn them on again until Saturday Evening. Unplugging for a day makes time slow down and makes me feel very present with my family. I not only appreciate this quality time with my family, but it has also made me appreciate technology in a whole new way. By Saturday night we can’t wait to plug back in and act on every single thought I have.
The idea of taking one day a week off from responsibilities and work is a very, very, very old idea. I think today with all potential of the internet we also need to know when to “not” be online. And that our minds and souls also need to unplug. We also explore this idea in our new film Brain Power. We also made a film while we were in production on Connected called Yelp: With Apologies to Allen Ginsberg’s Howl. Connected was taking so long to make and I was asked by this organization I am a part of to be involved in the first ever “National Day of Unplugging.” My husband and co-writer of Connected ended up writing a manifesto about our addiction to technology and the importance of unplugging. We rewrote Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” and called it “Yelp.”
Below are some articles and talks that mention the idea of “technology shabbats.”
March 1, 2013 Harvard Business Review- Tech’s Best Feature: The Off Switch
It’s Friday evening. The smells of rosemary chicken and freshly-baked challah fill the house. My daughters, 3 and 9, sigh as I gently detach the iPads from their laps. One by one, our screens are powered down. My husband, Ken, is usually the last holdout, in his office, madly scrambling to send out just one last email before the sun sets. Then he unplugs too. We light the candles, and sit down to a sumptuous meal…
- Martschenko Markenberatung- Technology Shabbat – My weekly break from the art
- Sunset Magazine: The Unplugged Home
- Good.is: Connecting Broadly Won’t Replace the Importance of Connecting Deeply
- Baltimore Jewish Times: Talking Tech: Shlain’s films show potential of the Internet
- JWeekly: In ‘crazybusy’ era of always being in touch, are we losing touch?
- Oregon Live: A Tech Sabbath offers a chance to unplug, recharge
- Huffington Post: National Day of Unplugging: Can You Spend 24 Hours Offline?
- Huffington Post: National Day Of Unplugging: A Family Dinner Table Talk
- Digital Journal: Exclusive Live Stream Event: Top Visionaries, Scientists Explore …
- SFGate: Tuning out technology: Pressures of the world drive some to cut back on e-mail and electronic gadgets
- Tech Cocktail: Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain: “The Internet’s in its Toddler Years”