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Prepent 5774: Day 3, Gently Unplug

A case for undertaking a weekly digital detox

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(Tablet Magazine)

Journey into the High Holidays with Amichai Lau-Lavie, founder of Storahtelling and the spiritual leader of Lab/Shul. It’s a daily dose of inspiration to get you focused and ready for the new year, featuring daily intentions, simple tasks, and tools for living better.

My life is digital, 24 hours a day, six days a week. Mostly.

I like the notion of a digital detox on Shabbat. No emails or Facebook, no phone, no screens. But what about Pandora, Netflix, Skype—or even texting?

Unplugging is a good idea for the human soul for so many reasons, but a 100 percent detox is a challenge for a restless urbanite like me. Texting on Shabbat is such a big trend they even came up with a name for it: Half Shabbat.

No judgement. I haven’t been consistent about my wiser use of tech, and I want to devote this Sabbath, day three of the Prepent journey, to thinking about ways to improve my management of what feels like my body’s newest limb: my mobile communication device. 

Jonathan Safran Foer wrote a powerful New York Times article earlier this summer arguing that we need to turn our phones off more often:

The more distracted we become, and the more emphasis we place on speed at the expense of depth, the less likely and able we are to care.

I want to have a conversation about this with friends during Shabbat—in person, around the table, our phones off. What are the best ways to help balance what we want with what we really need? I’m curious to hear: how do you unplug?

Here’s some inspiration, courtesy of Tiffany Schlain and Ken Goldberg:

Follow along with the Scroll’s daily Prepent series here.

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Prepent 5774: Day 3, Gently Unplug

A case for undertaking a weekly digital detox

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