Tuesday, August 03, 2010

TMS's weekly "technology sabbath" -- ahead of the curve?

A recent NPR segment on Morning Edition interviewed author William Powers about his new book Hamlet's Blackberry, which questions our society's need to be connected 24/7 to the online world of Internet, texting, iPhones, and all. He began to see how information overload --too much screen time-- affects our relationships and our emotional and mental centeredness; he concluded that "connectedness serves us best when it's balanced with a little disconnectedness." As a result, his family has an "Internet sabbath" over their weekends as a way to slow down and reconnect with each other.

We agree! The Meeting School has had a "technology sabbath" since 2006, when a class in Appropriate Technology brought a proposal to the students and faculty in Community Meeting suggesting that we turn off all the computers for 24 hours each week (Tuesday night to Wednesday dinner-time). Of course, exceptions happen as needed for schoolwork, but teachers try to assign homework for Wednesdays that doesn't require a computer. Living in Thomas House last year, this blogger found that students and faculty talked to each other more on Wednesdays, and students would plan events to happen on Tuesday nights --and ended up socializing more!

For more information about TMS's Community Meeting, click here.
To hear NPR's segment on Hamlet's Blackberry, click here.

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