Tech-Cleanse / Sabbath. Your thoughts?

I read an article a few months back which put forth the idea of taking a Tech Sabbath, or one day a week completely free of electronics (no TV, computer, Facebook, Twitter, or parking in front of any screen of any kind), with the intention of drinking in the world/replenishing one’s mind/body/spirit/eyesight. For the author herself, it had worked wonders.

Before I release the rambling hounds that are my own thoughts on this matter, I will ask you, the readers, today’s Forum Friday question: What are your thoughts about / experiences with disengaging from technology on a regular basis? What rules, if any, have you played by, and what did the results look like?

I am especially interesting in hearing from other writers.

Me, I had two reactions initially:

  1. That sounds lovely!
  2. I’m a writer. How am I meant to part with my computer (and my many scrawling notes, and outlines, and research documents, and thesaurus, and music, and the internet, which I intend to use for research, but invariably use for mindless shenanigans) for 52 days of the year? DO YOU KNOW how much productivity lost that is? DO YOU?

…Then again, if I spent 52 days of the year entirely away from the screen…

  1. I would probably get less headaches (+)
  2. more exercise (+)
  3. spend more time downtown (+) and more money (-)
  4. read more (+)
  5. write more without constantly hitting delete (+++++)
  6. but feel at a loss without my outlining documents (—)
  7. feel more refreshed (+)
  8. do more hands-on, artistic projects with tangible results (+)
  9. meet more people (+) and experience more (+)
  10. maybe pick up a new hobby? (+) volunteer? (+) 52 days a year is a LOT.

Alright, so when I make a pros and cons list it doesn’t look so bad. Maybe it wouldn’t equate to productivity lost at all. (It’s not like I’m constantly at the computer, either– but to go for whole days at a time without using it is rare for me.)

I keep coming back to that number, 52. Since I’m chasing my dreams I feel a sort of constant need to be productive and working towards achieving those distant goals, and part of me is stubbornly reluctant to surrender my main tool for that work.

But maybe a tech sabbath would be good for me. Maybe I’ll give it a try.

At least for a single day…and go from there.