In Which an Atheist Schools Me on Sabbath-Keeping

Confession: I used to be really good about a weekend tech sabbath, but I've fallen off the wagon. I know how it happened: I joined my beloved running group, which organizes group runs (including on the weekends) via Facebook. My traditional practice had been to begin tech sabbath by actually deleting the Facebook app from my phone, among other preparations, but that became inconvenient with keeping track of the running logistics. And well... bad habits crept back in.

I'm ready to recommit. Like Bilbo, I feel "thin, sort of stretched... like butter scraped over too much bread."

There's lots of videos out there encouraging people to unplug. I wrote about one here and said that while I appreciate the basic message, I get impatient with the lack of nuance. After all, there's a human being on the other side of that screen.

But here's one that spoke to me. It's from the School of Life, founded by my favorite atheist and author of Religion for Atheists, Alain de Botton.

Really... I'd attend the School of Life except a) there are no locations in DC and b) I just can't quit Jesus.

There are two things that really work for me in this video:

1. I like the provocative "because" statements. Yes, some of them echo the "evils of technology" trope, but most go deeper than that. My favorites are There are thoughts waiting to be disentangled. and It's too easy to use the dramas of others as an escape from the trickier bits of oneself.  Guilty as charged!

2. It's grounded in a spiritual practice that has a rhythm to it. As the video says, "the religious guys were on to something." This isn't a "kill your smartphone" message, it's an invitation to take just 24 hours every so often and rediscover the embodied life right around you.

What do you think? Do you take a break from technology? How/why do you do it?