Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Walden Zone digital free space

Every morning I read the paper looking for that one tidbit that will inspire me. Today it's an article called Screen-Free spaces, on creating a digital free zone in your home, in the Globe and Mail Life section.  Imagine setting aside a room in your home where there is no TV, no blackberry, no computer, no Ipad, no Iphone.  They call it the Walden zone.

"What if "Walden zone" became a sort of shorthand for families to remind themselves to live 'deliberately' a la Thoreau, when the kids are zoning out in front of their third hour of video games and parents are glued to their BlackBerry's?"  The idea comes from a book by William Powers, Hamlet's BlackBerry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age.  

While you may not have a separate space in your home to meditate or do yoga in, consider that what we really need is a quiet zone, or space where we have the right to download only our reflective thoughts of the moment, or a calm space to look out the window and see blue sky.  I'm lucky to have the sun rising in the east over the lake out my kitchen window, and that becomes a privileged moment.  I also have a room with only bookshelves and a piano, where I can escape from the TV or music in the other room and just read.

Building a Walden moment or zone may be more about your frame of mind than building a room in your home, for instance, removing my laptop from my bedroom has also allowed a different energy in my sleeping space. It's no longer my daily work space, since I brought the laptop down to the kitchen counter. It's been a week now, and I'm still automatically looking towards the place where it used to be to check my emails.

How can you create a little more awareness, a little more quiet - or even an Internet Sabbath day?  If you can't even walk the dog without checking emails and phone messages, perhaps you need to unplug for a few hours just to restore the habit of enjoying nature, smiling at people passing by, interacting with clouds in the sky.

Our kids need us to model a balanced lifestyle if they are ever going to create one for themselves. We need to find that quiet space within us, too. Enjoy a digital free zone today!



Dan Peck said...

Very intresting, I may post link on my blog to your post. You may be intrested in
digitalsilence is 3days with out tech and digitlsilence - lite is 3hours without tech.

jennifer said...

thanks Dan, yes post the link, I saw your site and it's full of good tidbits and information for appreciating the 'silence'