I am not religeous but I don’t mind cherry picking from religeon when it suits me. Take Christmas, which I like a lot, even though I’m a (secular) Jew. Or take Shabbat, the technically religeous seventh day of rest embedded deep and far into the history of Jews, which I have adapted into a Friday-Saturday ‘Techno Shabbat’ on which I go offline for 24 hours and instead read, talk, be un-digital.
But over the summer, when so much closes for six to seven weeks (Schools, Parliament, even business basically shuts for at least a month) I thought of another observance, the Christian Lent: 40 days and nights of abstention before Easter. For most people this means a type of food, or alcohol. Often people say they go ‘dry’ during January for a similar reason: a detox.
So I’m taking the summer off social media. No daily, hourly, more than hourly updates on Facebook, Twitter, Linked-In, but a pause to get into a different rythmn, and to watch the world turn differently, without narrating it, illustrating it, instantly, or reacting to the ways other people do.
For During the 1920s and 1930s Jews in America campaigned for weekly Shabbat to become culturally normal. The ‘Shomer Shabbat’ movement was successful. Campaigners against 24/7 Sunday trading might learn from this campaign.
So I’m taking a leaf out of the book of my forbears and adapting it for the six-seven weeks before ‘term’ restarts.
I wish you a restful, low-to-no digital Summer. And yes, when I’m back online, I’ll be posting how I got on.