Is nothing sacred? Mealtime with family, meetings with the boss, dates with your sweetie are constantly interrupted by mobile phone calls, texts and tweets. At weddings and funerals, folks fumble to silence (or peek) at their chirping, beeping, music-blaring phones. And how do we manage a weekly day of rest? Enter Reboot, a Jewish non-profit based in New York, with their National Day of Unplugging, urging us to call a time-out from digital communication on March 6-7. It’s becoming a global event.
The Fourth Commandment is skimpy on details. It simply requires us to keep holy the Sabbath, which – 3,500 years ago – meant kick-back with the family and give the donkeys a break. It intended to create space for us to contemplate matters of faith, family and community, but the practice of introspection becomes problematic in today’s high-tech culture.
Imagine the prophets of old sermonizing to crowds furiously tweeting and videoing and posting on Instagram and Facebook. “Selfies with Moses” would be all over Snapchat, scant attention paid to the sermons. Now the folks at Reboot aspire to resurrect a day of contemplation and ‘real’ connection, a modern Shabbat.
The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – from sundown to sundown – that starts on the first Friday each March. The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, Reboot’s adaptation of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones. That’s a routine prescribed by many faiths. The manifesto consists of 10 core principles that are open for your own interpretation, each designed to slow down lives in an increasingly hectic world.
If you recognize that you are missing out on the important moments of your life, passing hours with your nose buried in your iPhone or BlackBerry, laptop or Kindle – give the National Day of Unplugging a shot.
Visit their website (link here), sign the Unplug pledge and start living a throw-back life: spend time outside, check out a new museum, connect with the people in your street, neighborhood and city, have an uninterrupted meal or read a book to your child.
Reboot hopes that the day will inspire people to unplug one day each week, and recapture the “real interconnections between people,” Tanya Schevitz, a spokesperson for Reboot told Digits. “People are overwhelmed by the relentless deluge of information in their lives.”
Founded in 2002, Reboot engages and inspires young, “Jewishly-unconnected cultural creatives, innovators and thought-leaders”, according to their website.
It aims to affirm the value of Jewish traditions and create new ways for people to embrace them. Since its start, hundreds of thousands of people have looked to the organization, engaging in their programs and using the creative tools on their website to rekindle connections and re-imagine Jewish lives full of meaning, creativity, and joy. Its members include television executives, writers, filmmakers and C.E.O.’s: people for whom the act of ‘unplugging’ could well be most difficult.
Ironically, Reboot has developed a smart phone app available through the Android and BlackBerry markets, that lets people choose from a number of automatic messages, like “Digital Detox” or “Call me on it,” informing their Twitter followers and Facebook friends that they are offline for the day, or, in the case of the latter message, urging friends that “if you see me texting or tweeting, call me on it!”
The organizers are also promoting the National Day of Unplugging via (what else?) Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.
Would you consider unplugging for a day? Tell us how it goes down for you.
All images from REBOOT and The National Unplug Day website
Fresh grilled Tuna is salad Great for a party
- 1 lb/400 gr fresh tuns cubed
- 1 pickled lemon
- 400 g cooked chickpeas
- 1 tbsp sweet paprika
- 1/2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp honey
- 60 ml olive oil
- 1 handful coriander, chopped
- 50 g fresh spinach
- 4 tbsp vegetable oil
- salt and pepper
- 1 frying pan
- 1 pair of tongs
- 1 chopping board
- 1 knife
- 1 small bowl
- 1 large bowl
- 1 spoon
- 1 tray
Step 2: Prepare the tuna
Roughly cube the tuna and place it on a tray.
Step 3: Season the tuna
Generously season the tuna with salt and pepper.
Step 4: Fry the tuna
Heat the frying pan until it is very hot. Add the oil and heat until smoking. Add the cubes of tuna and cook in batches. Cook for 20 seconds, turn over and cook for a further 20 seconds and remove.
Step 5: Prepare the pickled lemon
Discard the ends of the lemon and cut into fine cubes.
Step 6: Make the dressing
Into the small bowl, add the lemon juice, honey, sweet paprika, chilli flakes and olive oil and mix well.