This Is Why You Need a Weekly Digital Detox


A few weeks ago, on a Friday night, after a delicious meal, I curled up in bed, and started to read a New York magazine article called “In Defense of Distraction. I say “started to read” and not “read” because the writer went on and on for so many pages there was only so much I could take before I got, well, distracted.

What I was able to surmise from the part that I saw, is that there is an over-stimulation epidemic in the world today, and it could have long term effects on people’s ability to think, focus, and concentrate. BlackBerry’s and twittering, Facebook and cell phones, email, YouTube, flickr and blogs are constantly competing for our attention.

Even as the guy was writing the article he described all the things that were beeping and clicking and hampering him from actually completing it. And so I stopped reading at that point and listened to all the distractions in my home, but there weren’t any, because it was Shabbos, and all of my gadgets were sleeping as peacefully as my family was.

I smiled to myself as sat there for a moment just enjoying the silence around me, and then I let myself get distracted by something I’m often too busy to notice these days: tiredness. So I put the magazine down and went to sleep early that night. And it was wonderful.

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  • Avatar photo Melanie Levenstein says on June 9, 2009

    Great article! I think people forget far too often how special Shabbat is, and rather see it as a burden because they can’t watch tv or go to the mall. But as you say… it’s a time to get away from all of the every-day, humdrum distractions, and allow yourself to sleep, eat (way too much) good food, and really spend time with your families. Thanks for the great blog!

  • Avatar photo Dale Legan says on June 11, 2009

    Your right we develop a sort of ADHD and do a lot of activity but don’t get as much done.
    There is a definite difference between weeks I’ve been observant and ones I’ve not been observant. I can say the same thing with keeping kosher.

  • Avatar photo Holy Hyrax says on June 12, 2009

    Couldn’t agree more.

  • Avatar photo Galina says on July 31, 2009

    I agree that we spend way too much time distracted by all the technology. Even when we master a piece of it and find a way to work through without getting distracted, some new technology pops up that we have to learn. I finally mastered my Blackberry & found the way to silence its annoying constant vibrating & ringing and now there is this Twitter thing. Some weeks I am tempted to keep Shabbat just to get some peace and quiet.


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