sleepy_bear_2-t2Technology is great, alright. The Net, even better. It lets me be in touch with all my friends all over the world.

It lets me publish articles, books, music albums and so on and so forth.

It lets me work together on a project with people, independent of location.

So, why do you find a growing trend among people from all walks of life to regularly switch off  and go on “digital sabbaticals” – as they call it?

The answer is simple (and obvious):

  • You don’t get new ideas in front of the screen
  • Consuming information 24/7 won’t make you happy
  • Sitting too much can ruin your back
  • Staring at screens makes the eyes tired

… and so on and so forth…

So, it does make sense. Now, what?

You could make a plan of “switching off” on Saturdays and Sundays, like many people do – Or you could say each fifth month will be net-free.

Why not?

Personally, I find this a bit weird.

The Jokingly Unexpected Nature of Life

We have established the point that disconnecting can be as valuable as connecting.

But the question when to do either is a far harder one. And – most of the time – life does not dance according to our flute. Sometimes you plan to connect – and nothing happens. Sometimes – according to your clock – you have to switch off , but – the joking nature of life delivers and endless flow opportunities to your doorstep. Ready to slam the door in their face?

So, again – I find the idea of a “digital sabbatical” great. But it has to come and go naturally.
There’s no use to do artifical planning. When there’s nothing happening – turn off! When you feel something is happening – stay on!

Simple. Yes. I did not tell you that. You knew that before.

It means listening to what your instincts tell you. It’s not always that easy because many times we prefer listening to our thoughts of “should and shouldn’t” instead – but if you do manage to go with it, it’s far more effective than obeying some kind of artifical and totally arbitrary planning which leads to awkwardness and, well – arrogance towards life and other people as in: “I don’t care what is happening to you, I am on my holy sabbatical now!”

And, by the way – this idea is nothing new: As you know orthodox Jews were never allowed to use any kind of technology on the “holy shabbat”, the day God rested after he had created the earth.

The term “digital sabbatical” thus is a half-religious one. (It’s funny since Minimalism as a movement does indeed have many religious implications and is in many ways related to Protestantism, which by definition is based on a “minimalist approach to religion”)

Personally, I don’t want to be a radical follower of either the religion of “On” or “Off” but rest when there is a need to rest and be active when there’s a need to be active.

How about you?