Tech as a word can be said to be known to the majority of people but not the word “Tech Sabbath”. If you are familiar with the creation story found in the bible then you would also know about the word Sabbath. “And on the Sabbath day, he rested.” So, taking that literary, tech sabbath can be said to mean taking a break from tech. By tech, this could mean phones, tablets, televisions, music players, smart watches and every other tech piece you can imagine.
In 2012, it was estimated that an average American consumes 13.6 hours of media each day. This number was expected to rise to 15.5 by 2015 and continually rise with each passing year. It was also noted that these figures include media multitasking like listening to music while checking emails. It, however, did not include media time spent on work.
Technology, on the other hand, has brought with itself, lots of life-saving inventions without forgetting to drag the accompanying downside just like every other thing life has to offer. We consume endless stream of media through the various gadgets and increasingly through computers, tablets and smartphones. These things have found a way of being a part of our lives just so we don’t miss a moment without the faceless distractions.
As part of the downsides that tech has, the most prominent one could be said its high rate of dependency. This sometimes results in not even a single decision being made without consulting a device. It is now a norm for people to seek social validation on what they do without looking inward to find what works for them.
In the midst of all these, there is an advocacy for people to take breaks from technology. This aids in protecting mental health and physical wellbeing.
So, how do you take a break from tech or better said, how do you take a “tech Sabbath”
Way back in 2003, some Jewish creatives and intellectuals sought ways to reduce stress in the hectic world they found themselves in. As part of their plan, they developed the “Sabbath Manifesto”. The aim was to encourage people to take a weekly day of rest from technology. The idea was deemed to be historic and religious in nature as the popular biblical says God rested on the seventh day and “six days thou shalt work but on the seventh-day thou shalt rest: in plowing time and in harvest thou shalt rest.”
Another reason this proposition came to exist is that because of the availability of technology, a lot of people never actually stop working or retire to proper rest.
Taking a weekly tech Sabbath allows us to step off this wheel of endless sameness. It is a ritual that pushes us out of the norm, to pursue different activities and use different parts of our brain.
So, how do you actually take a “Tech Sabbath?”
- Be Intentional: Make conscious efforts to be away from tech at least for the suitable for you. You could go camping, leaving all your devices behind. You could just go for a long walk at the park leaving your gadgets at home. Just make an effort and be intentionally committed to it.
- Pick a starting point: Taking a break from tech might not mean the same for everyone. Be sure to pick the level that is suitable for you. Maybe you could still use your phone but calling your parents to check up on them or calling your loved ones for hearty conversations.
- Pick the time of day that is suitable for you. It doesn’t have to be the same for everyone. Bear in mind to adjust as your schedules change.
- If you can, combine the tech Sabbath day with some time in a natural space. Spending time in a natural space has been proven to be great for your physical and mental health. Mixing this with time without technology, you are set for an amazing experience.
- Inculcate silence time into your tech Sabbath. Some bit of meditation and the inward search will increase the efficiency of your “tech fast”. It could be a mind wandering session or a complete internal and external silence moment. If you have a lousy and noisy mind like me, this experience will help you focus on what is important.
A lot already being said on “tech Sabbath”, I am currently making my suitable schedule and looking forward to an amazing time being myself without any influence whatsoever. See you on the other side.