Posted by Mark Richards
In the Bible, the Sabbath is set aside as a time for rest and prayer. Most of us don’t hold to the Sabbath with Old Testament fervor, but it’s still a good idea. In fact, to help increase your joy, I suggest abiding by a new kind of Sabbath.
The Tech Sabbath.
Once you get over the initial shock, you’ll find yourself all smiles should you just turn off the devices and leave the pixels behind. You really will. I mean it.
Giving it up
The problem is that nowadays giving up technology for any period of time just feels impossible. So much of our communication has been moved into the tech realm that you’d be totally alone without it. Ditching your smart phone would be sort of like going to a party and hiding in the cupboard. Everyone you know would be connected. Except you.
Now, I’m not suggesting that you dump all your electronics and go live in the woods. I like electronics! I use them all the time. This post never even reaches you without them. Unfortunately, our electronics do other things to us too.
Several years ago there were news outlets reporting that Blackberry users were displaying signs of addiction to their smart phones. When forced to disconnect, many were actually experiencing withdrawal symptoms comparable to those associated with drugs and alcohol. It’s not just phones that are causing us trouble either. The internet – in all its forms – has crippled our ability to focus. The presence of the web in our lives has caused the average attention span to plummet to a mere five minutes. Although it helps greatly, technology also hurts us.
So, leave it behind! Stay in the cupboard. Spending time by yourself is all right if you frame it correctly. You just need to recognize the difference between isolation and solitude. One makes you a hermit. The other, a monk. Isolation makes you feel lonely while solitude makes you feel at peace. The key is to do something meaningful with your newly found time and avoid counting down the minutes until you can check your email.
Being disconnected from time to time is a good thing. After all, you’ve got to spend your whole life with yourself. May as well see your own sights and think your own thoughts without distraction.
Plus, there’s no real reason why a Tech Sabbath has to involve you being by yourself at all. Hang out with your friends or your family! Leaving your phone upstairs in the bureau allows you to converse meaningfully. You can try and stretch out your attention span and focus on what they have to say for – I don’t know, six minutes?
Although it initially feels challenging, finding a way to spend your time when severed off from technology tends to be fun. You’re forced to try new things. Those recipes you’ve been sitting on suddenly start to seem like a good diversion. The board games you have stacked in the closet may have a bit more life to them. Walks, sports, reading, volunteering and even good ole’ fashioned talking are all great ways to get by without your phone. And what’s more is that they all come with smiles. On the house.Read More