» Subscribe Today!
The Power of Information
Home
The Ledger - EST. 1978 - Nashville Edition
X
Skip Navigation LinksHome > Article
VOL. 43 | NO. 46 | Friday, November 15, 2019

Can you put cellphone away for 1 day a week?

By Terri Schlichenmeyer

Print | Front Page | Email this story

Between 2 inches and 3 feet. That’s the average distance between you and your cellphone when it’s not in your hand because you must have it close.

What if someone needs you? What if The Boss calls? What if there is an emergency? Or, as in the new book “24/6” by Tiffany Shlain, what if you just unplugged?

Nearly a dozen years ago, in the same week, Tiffany Shlain learned she was pregnant and that her father had incurable brain cancer. Nine months later, she says, “… my father left this world and my daughter entered it – within days” of one another, and all Shlain wanted was to “slow down time.”

Shortly afterward, she and her husband found a way to do that, in the form of what she calls a “Technology Shabbat.” Adapting one of the Ten Commandments, Shlain and her family take a rest one day a week from all internet-based devices.

Research shows that while smartphones are our friends, they’re not good for us. Our world runs around the clock, but employees who do the same aren’t nearly as productive as well-rested ones.

Shlain cites a Neilsen study that states American adults spend nearly 80 hours a week looking at a screen. Other studies show that such activities alter our brains and our attention spans.

Even so, detaching cold-turkey may be difficult, at best.

24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week

by Tiffany Shlain

c.2019, Gallery Books

$26

Start by seizing non-phone hours on the weekends and work your way up. Get a landline, and print important phone numbers on a piece of paper so you’re not tempted to turn on your cellphone. Learn to keep notes so you can jot down reminders and things you need to do later. Make the day important, with a special meal or treat. Tell family and co-workers about your “Tech Shabbat.”

And finally, remember “a culture needs those common days of work-free reflection to undertake activities both idle and vital. We languish without it.”

Overworked and underpaid. We say that, we laugh and then we go back to work. But is disconnection the answer?

Th author says it is, and you’ll see why.

And therein lies a problem. More heed is paid to the why and what of a “Shabbat,” which is information that’s really pretty intuitive, but there’s very little on the how. Fewer than 15 pages, in fact, offer cohesive, solid tips for reaching a point where you can survive a one-day turn-off. Those instructions can be read in about 10 minutes.

The rest of this book largely consists of various repetitions on reasoning: A basic history of Judaism, religion and culture, and personal stories from Shlain’s life and family. Interesting, yes. Readable, absolutely, but not a whole lot of help to a time-crunched, frustrated business person who feels permanently attached to a cellphone.

This is a book to read, or maybe just to skim; it’s useful, but only to a certain point. You’ll get some information from “24/6,” but it just doesn’t quite go the distance.

Terri Schlichenmeyer’s reviews of business books are read in more than 260 publications in the U.S. and Canada.

Follow us on Facebook, Twitter & RSS:
Sign-Up For Our FREE email edition
Get the news first with our free weekly email
Name
Email  
TNLedger.com Knoxville Editon
RECORD TOTALS DAY WEEK YEAR
PROPERTY SALES 0 0 0
MORTGAGES 0 0 0
FORECLOSURE NOTICES 0 0 0
BUILDING PERMITS 0 0 0
BANKRUPTCIES 0 0 0
BUSINESS LICENSES 0 0 0
UTILITY CONNECTIONS 0 0 0
MARRIAGE LICENSES 0 0 0