In this wise, wonderful work, filmmaker Shlain eloquently argues the merits of taking a break from technology, particularly smartphones, one day a week ...Bolstered with fascinating and germane facts about neuroscience, philosophy, psychology, and the history of the concept of a day of rest, this excellent cross between instruction and memoir deserves a wide audience.”
—Publishers Weekly (starred review)
"[A] bright debut... A useful and much-needed guide to turning the clock back to a less frazzled pre-internet and -smartphone day."
“In her new book, 24/6, Tiffany Shlain, the founder of the Webby Awards, lays out a plan for surviving our 'always on' culture... Even for a digital curmudgeon like me, being 'unproductive' felt like a small revolution—and that’s after only one day of it. I can’t wait to discover what a decade of tech Shabbats feels like.”
—Harvard Business Review
“Put down your phone and pick up this book. I did. In one day read it in its entirety, convinced by the end that 24/6 is timeless and timely wisdom. Tiffany Shlain is a modern-day prophet, brilliant and incredibly funny in equal measure.”
—Angela Duckworth, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Grit
“Shlain's well-written and well-reasoned book offers families excellent ideas for taming the digital monsters who have moved into their homes. I recommend it to all parents who have struggled to set limits on screen time.”
—Mary Pipher, co-author of Reviving Ophelia
“Here is the answer to the greatest collective and personal challenge of our time: reclaiming the essential dignity of being human in a digital age.”
—Douglas Rushkoff, author of Team Human and Present Shock
“Shlain delivers a moving family story, documenting the need for Shabbat in the first place.”
—Sherry Turkle, MIT Professor of the Social Studies of Science and Technology, author of Reclaiming Conversation and Alone Together
"An essential guide... There is nothing else like it; here is a place to turn if you feel there’s something missing in our modern world."
—Jaron Lanier, best-selling author of Dawn of the New Everything and You Are Not a Gadget
“I don’t know how Tiffany Shlain does it. First the prize-winning movies, now an amazing book outlining a human way to manage our digital lifestyle. Like Tiffany, we all need to go 24/6. It’s a great way to seize back control from our digital overlords.”
—Andrew Keen, Best-selling author of How To Fix The Future
“She convinced me.... that a day of disconnection is a path towards reconnection to the rest of our lives."
—Vint Cerf, the co-creator of the internet
"This book is a wonderfully refreshing and practical roadmap, as she promises, to both slowing down time and having more of it.”
—Krista Tippett, Host of On Being and bestselling author of Becoming Wise.
“Tiffany Shlain is a 21st Century Marshall McLuhan, reminding us that having the best of both worlds is not getting consumed by one.”
—Jean Rogers, M.S.Ed. Director, Children’s Screen Time Action Network
“To fulfill the promise of automation we may well need to re-learn some of the arts of living lost in the industrial revolution. Tiffany Shlain’s book is a much-needed guide for how to start on this path.”
—Marina Gorbis, Author & Executive Director Institute for The Future
“Tiffany Shlain is a digital philosopher for our time, confronting the conundrums presented by a constantly demanding, ever-present information environment. I, as a pediatrician, live it and recommend it as a best parenting and best living practice to the families I serve.”
—Michael Rich, Associate Professor of Pediatrics, Harvard Medical School
“24/6 is a joy to read, from its compelling argument for a day of rest to its bonus challah bread recipe. Like the braided challah, Tiffany Shlain weaves together her intriguing personal story, practical advice, and research wisdom to show why taking a weekly tech break is so rejuvenating—and can fuel a healthy, meaningful life.”
—Rosabeth Moss Kanter, bestselling author of Confidence
“Tiffany Shlain provides much needed sanity in our data frenzied world. Do yourself a favor. Read this book and take back your life.”
—Stephen Balkam, Founder & CEO, Family Online Safety Institute
“In her book, [Shlain] offers suggestions of activities for all ages to engage in while unplugging, but one activity that might be good for the whole family is simply journaling. These days are days that will be inscribed forever into history books. We’re living history now. One day we all will be the storytellers and history keepers, and conversations may always drift back to what did you do when.”
–Scary Mommy blog
The joy of going offline.
Filmmaker and Webby Awards founder Shlain once urged friends to connect online. Now she wonders, "how do you get people offline regularly to live a good life?" In this bright debut, she offers a very personal solution: Take a weekly "Technology Shabbat," a day spent without smartphones or any other screen. A secular Jew and child of the 1970s, the author and her husband and daughters have been unplugging for one full day, every week, for nearly 10 years—and liking it. Troubled that everyone is "head-down looking at screens all the time"—like "ostriches burying our heads in silicon sand"—she argues that the traditional day of rest works nicely to reduce the stress of news, tweets, and other electronic distractions. Benefits include increased productivity, reduced burnout, and greater quality of life. Writing in a pleasing, conversational style, Shlain reminds us that, according to one study, American adults spend 74 hours per week staring at a screen. "Screens have become like members of the family," she writes, noting some people keep power on even during Lamaze classes. Drawing on family experiences, she focuses on the basics of 24/6 living, beginning with the need to get back your landline: A phone plugged into a wall is critical for emergencies. Have needed supplies at hand (pad and sharpie pens, radio or record player, camera, books, other offline amusements), tell your relatives and boss, invite friends to join the day, entice your children (with games, picnics, bike rides), and so on. A weekend day is best for Tech Shabbat, when there is time for cooking, excursions, talks, visits, or doing nothing. While outdoors, borrow someone else's phone to make calls. Shlain's detailed examples will seem a bit much for some, but they make clear how an off-day can refresh the entire family.
A useful and much-needed guide to turning the clock back to a less frazzled pre-internet and -smartphone day.