Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain Practices ‘Technology Shabbat’

Webby Awards Founder Tiffany Shlain Practices ‘Technology Shabbat’


American filmmaker, author, and founder of the Webby Awards Tiffany Shlain is at it again with her creativity and “outside the box” thinking. Every Friday night, Shlain, a practicing cultural Jew, gathers to enjoy dinner with friends and family. Shortly after, her family of four “unplugs” for the next 24 hours.

What Is Technology Shabbat?

The Jewish Shabbat is a celebration of creation in which God rested from his work on the seventh day. It’s a day set aside for worship, the anticipation of the Messianic Kingdom, as well as rest from the daily toils of life.

Traditionally, the Jews observe Shabbat on Saturday, the original seventh day of the week. However, Christians recognize Sunday as the day of rest to celebrate the resurrection of Jesus.

Shlain and her family have decided to take a rest from something else during their 24-hour Shabbat—technology. In a blog post that Shlain wrote on the Moxie Institute, she said: “Every Friday night, we all unplug from all of our technologies and don’t turn them on again until Saturday evening.”

She continued, “Unplugging for a day makes time slow down and makes me feel more present with my family. I not only appreciate this quality time with them, but it has also made me appreciate technology in a whole new way.”

Films and Projects About Technology Shabbat

Over the past ten years, Shlain has devoted a lot of time and effort in sharing her Technology Shabbat lifestyle with the world. She has produced several short films in which she explores the benefits of taking a break from technology.

This coming weekend, September 27-28, her film studio Let It Ripple is promoting Character Day which “focuses on the relationship between character and technology. How does technology enhance our character development? How does turning off the screens enhance our character?”

On Tuesday, Shlain released her new book 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, in which she gives a more in-depth look at Technology Shabbat and how it can positively affect your whole self.

A Change of Mindset

During a recent interview, Shlain was asked how she thought the practice of Technology Shabbat has changed her and her family. “It … makes time slow down. I think technology is speeding up our sense of time,” she said. “So I feel like we have this great device to press the pause button and just slow it all down. And what’s the one day you want to feel really long? It’s Saturday.”

Leviticus 23:3 says, “Six days shall work be done, but on the seventh day is a Sabbath of solemn rest, a holy convocation. You shall do no work. It is a Sabbath to the Lord in all your dwelling places.” It seems like Mrs. Shlain just might be on to something.

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