Pause for Thought: 24/6 Technology Sabbatical

Pause for Thought: 24/6 Technology Sabbatical

“How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”          – Annie Dillard


As a team at Conscious Pause, we read a lot of books, articles, and posts around what it means to go deep, pause, and consider life intentionally. Recently, I had the chance to read the book ” 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week” by Tiffany Shlain.

I don’t know about you but I find it very difficult to unplug from my devices and reduce my screen time, and even more so during this quarantine time. My iPad has this “lovely” feature that tells me how much more screen time had compared to the previous week. Nothing like your technology making you feel guilty!

What I liked about the 24/6 book’s simple idea of having a one-day technology sabbatical are the straightforward steps to make it happen. There are practical solutions and ideas on how to overcome the barriers, excuses and narratives we have in our own life. She also shares how their family (including teenage daughters) do this together and the benefits they are discovering.

By providing the history of sabbath and why we need it as humans, Tiffany Shlain builds the case and makes you believe it is possible to unplug. But it is hard. I am occasionally trying it with various degrees of success.

While reading the book, I constantly stopped to highlight passages and think about them. I thought I would share a few here:

“The need to pause and recharge is universal; most religions have some form of rest day. For Christians, it’s Sunday. For Muslims, Friday became a day for communal worship and family time, and Buddhists observe periods of rest and communal worship called Uposatha. During the new moon, the Cherokee traditionally abstained from work for a period known as “non-days” or “untime”. In the 19th and 20th centuries, secular movements, like labour unions, would call for much-needed days off as well”


“The joy of tech is that it lets you do things very fast. You can get so many things done. But there is value in slowing it all down, too. It’s satisfying and exhilarating to live in this network of tech that allows immediacy, but we also need to remember the benefits of working slowly and consciously.”


“…death inspires the meaningful creativity of all. Knowing that we are only here for a short while liberates us to live fully and deeply. What makes life beautiful and precious is that it’s finite. I know many people in the tech world who want to live forever. I never thought that would be a good thing.  Living a good life ultimately means being conscious that it will end.”


“Daydreaming lets you conceptualize, beta-test, make movies in your head. It lets you travel through the past, present, and future. How is that a waste of time?”


What would it take for you to take a “technology sabbatical”?


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