Blanche’s Book Club: 24/6.

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I’m jumping right in here because I’m excited to share my thoughts on “24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week” by Tiffany Shlain.

I saw this book on Instagram and immediately put it on my TBR list solely based on the title. I was even more excited when I found a copy on the library shelves and read it immediately.

Author Tiffany Shlain and her family have participated in “Tech Shabbat” every week for 10+ years. Generally speaking, they’ve taken the idea of a Jewish Shabbat and added a rule of no screens for 24 hours.

The Shlains have Tech Shabbat every Saturday, which starts with a traditional Friday night dinner — everyone turns off all of their screens before it begins.

They can turn the screens back on Saturday evening, after 24 hours without them.

Tiffany’s book explores why and how she came up with this idea, how she and her family spend their 24 hours without screens and the research behind what screens and technology are doing to us (as a society).

Here are some notes I took while reading:

  • Unplugging for a full day each week is a punk-rock reaction to our always-on, 24/7 world. It makes the world wait while we do what we want.
  • And because we can do anything anytime, we feel the need to do everything all the time.

General notes on preparing for your first Tech Shabbat:

  • Have a notebook handy for things you would use your phone for
  • Choose your day
  • Go a full 24 hours
  • Have something extra and unique for that day, such as making a meal from scratch
  • Tell family and friends
  • Invite guests
  • Prepare the night before (if you need to use your phone for anything)

Notes on keeping the 24/6 energy going daily:

  • Establish guidelines for the phone
  • Use a notebook to jot things down
  • Set an old-fashioned alarm clock
  • Establish phone-free times during the day
  • No screens before bed
  • Put the phone away while trying to focus

I should note that I didn’t think this book was a masterpiece in prose — but I loved the idea so much, and I appreciated all of the research and data paired with Shlain’s personal story.

Before reading this book, I was aware of personal phone addiction. I have habitually reached for my phone to mindlessly scroll through apps (particularly social media apps), and I’m aware of the time it wastes and the negative way it makes me feel.

I’m really grateful for this book because I’ve since had three of my own Tech Shabbats! I’m saving all the thoughts on that for another post (I want to get a few more under my belt before I reflect), but I’m enjoying them so far.

I’ve also looked for other books on technology addiction and anything that will help me pull away from screens when I need to — I’ll report back if I find anything good!

Have you given up screens for a day?

For more book recommendations, be sure to subscribe to the blog (look to the right) and follow me on Goodreads @thebitterlemon – where I share more of my book picks. Also, check out my printable bookmarks and Book Club Journal Pages in my Etsy Shop

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