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Digital Sabbath

Program 165 • 29 mins

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The vast majority of Americans are now Internet users and the number is growing year by year. And the number of cell phones in the U.S. is now roughly equal to the number of people in the country. And yet our unprecedented access to information and communication has a potential downside: people may get so absorbed in their ‘devices’ that it may impair our ability to focus on important things like family relationships. So former Washington Post writer William Powers and his family, living on Cape Cod, Massachusetts, set out to unplug from devices each weekend to create a kind of Digital Sabbath. Here’s the fascinating story of why they made this decision and how things worked out.

You know, you have a pause in your life, and it does refresh you. You’ve been busy, you’ve been caught up in your life, and all these things you do that — many of which are wonderful, but they take energy. And they — they have their own momentum, and you get all wrapped up in these things, and that’s all you’re thinking about, and you lose the wide view of your life, and why you’re here, and you lose a sort of awareness of the moment, and what it’s all about. And when you have that pause, it centers you again. You go back to the center, and you can think again about what the point of all this is. And just on a physiological level, you can, indeed, refresh yourself. You can recharge.”

—William Powers, author of “Hamlet’s Blackberry”

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