What is a digital sabbath? A day without any technology: no cell phones, no laptops, tablets and desktops, no Internet or no Facebook. Why would you take a digital Sabbath? The idea is that you get away from your “busyness” , needing to feel important on Facebook and other social media, give up your Internet addiction for a day.
I was reminded about Digital Sabbaths the other day when I read this story about a church in England using tablets during their services so older parishioners could read the hymns and text more easily. Now you can’t even escape from technology in church. Just substitute God for Tech in Psalm 139 and whither shall I flee from thy presence?
Seriously, I don’t think tablets in church are a sign of the end times or the Apocalypse (cue Hollywood explosions and actor Will Smith looking thoughtful and constipated). Really all the fuss about technology reminds me of the days when rock n’ roll music was considered devil music and there were so-called men of God who played Rolling Stones records backwards to hear the satanic chants. Humanity survived the introduction of radios, telephones (the old land line kind), television, faxes and automobiles, it will also survive the smart phone.
Rebecca Rosen wrote about Digital Sabbath in the Atlantic recently and one of her best points is that if we allow ourselves to blame technology “we absolve ourselves of the need to create social, political, and, sure, technological structures that allow us to have the kinds of relationships we want with the people around us”. Instead of breaking out the tablets, we should be breaking bread with one another, instead of facebooking, we should be facing one another.
A few months ago, a client asked “Do I need a smartphone?”. Someone had been berating him for not having the latest and greatest smartphone. And the answer was no. The role of this client in his business is to dream dreams and see visions. His assistants need smart phones to manage everything else for him.
So ask yourself, given your role in your business, what technology is appropriate for you? what technology is appropriate for your employees? Have a plan. Don’t worship the latest golden calf or shiny white iBull. Plan your technology and your time in keeping with your values and your business purpose and you will be saved.