Jeffrey Brown writes about finding a middle path between constant connectedness and a rich inner life in Hamlet’s BlackBerry. One of his suggestions, pulled from Thoreau, is to create a room in your house where no tech is allowed.
Brown tells a PBS NewsHour interviewer about his familiar feelings of anxiety about having laptops, smartphones and other devices constantly at hand — “Never having a break from stimulation… from information.” After accidentally dunking his phone, he liked the feeling of being at arm’s length from distractions, and set out to find out if others in history had been similarly bombarded. Shakespeare, Greek and Roman philosophers, and many others had surprisingly relevant equivalents to our modern inboxes and tablets.
In his own house, Brown disconnects the cable modem from Friday night through Monday morning — “Walden Time”. Assumedly, it can be plugged back in for real needs, but it’s an interesting idea. A more literal pick-up from Henry David Thoreau, though, might be to have a room in your house where you can’t use devices or laptops or any kind of connection.
When do you get a moment’s rest from devices?