16 April 2011

Unplug Challenge

I used to turn off the machine every Friday evening and leave it off until Saturday afternoon, but in the frenzy of overwork that was the end of Fall semester, I lost track of that practice.

In early March, I decided to go along with some Treehuggers who were unplugging all electronic devices, following the suggestions laid out in the Sabbath Manifesto about taking a weekly day of rest from the hurry of the week.

I still have a dumb phone, we have no TV reception in the house, and I seldom listen to radio or watch videos, so for me what that essentially means is turning off the computer. I've kept at it each week, shutting down before Shabbat dinner and keeping the machine off until after lunch on Saturday.

That first time, I actually felt a little unmoored. (I'm a little embarrassed to admit this: It should have been easy to pick up a book or a magazine.) For the next few weeks, it continued to feel a little odd.

But with time, it's starting to feel great to get untethered: no news, no FaceBook, no email, no KenKen for around 20 hours each week. And it's making it easier for me to shut the machine off in the evening and go to bed, too.

I'm in the midst of another end-of-semester frenzy, but when that calms, I'm going to push the unplugged time frame until sundown, and then try to keep it that way.