Mediatwits #52: Special Edition: Unplugging from Media and Technology

    by Mark Glaser
    June 8, 2012
    The National Day of Unplugging is a way to get more people to take breaks from technology

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    My friends and I had the most amazing conversations! We would not have had those conversations if we had our phones with us." -woman at SXSW unplugged party
    Click to read the entire series


    Welcome to the 52nd episode of the Mediatwits podcast, with Mark Glaser and Rafat Ali as co-hosts. This week we have a special edition of the podcast dedicated to unplugging and taking breaks from media and technology. We are immersed in a world of technology, with smartphones at our fingertips, texts and status updates waiting for us at all times, and work that’s increasingly difficult to leave behind. As part of this week’s Unplug 2012 special report, this podcast includes an in-depth discussion on ways to unplug and detox.

    Our special guests are William Powers, author of the book “Hamlet’s Blackberry”; Tanya Schevitz, communications manager for Reboot; and Levi Felix, who runs the Digital Detox retreat. They have various strategies for achieving balance with hectic work schedules and taking breaks and enjoying life. Tanya also helps run the National Day of Unplugging in March.

    Check it out!



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    Intro and outro music by 3 Feet Up; mid-podcast music by Autumn Eyes via Mevio’s Music Alley.

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    William Powers

    Here are some highlighted topics from the show:


    0:30: Mark is off to get a kidney transplant

    1:10: Rafat is working on getting angel funding for his new startup

    4:00: Rafat: A blog is a beast you always need to feed, plus there’s social media

    6:00: How Mark will disconnect post-transplant

    Unplugging from media and technology

    7:30: Special guests William Powers, Tanya Schevitz, Levi Felix

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    Tanya Schevitz

    10:20: Powers spending more time with technology because of the book, ironically

    13:10: Schevitz: Sabbath Manifesto is about taking breaks from technology

    16:15: Felix: Are we archiving our lives for ourselves or for other people?

    19:00: Felix: That weird sensation when you feel a vibrating cell phone that’s not there

    21:10: Schevitz ran a party at SXSW where everyone put their phones in sleeping bags

    24:10: Has tech etiquette improved at all?


    Levi Felix

    27:00: Powers: There are plenty of historical precedents of people feeling overwhelmed by tech

    31:10: Felix: Great value in taking time each day to reflect

    More Reading

    Hamlet’s Blackberry at Amazon

    Digital Detox Retreat

    Why We Need a Technology Sabbath at MediaShift by Tanya Schevitz

    5 Tips to Prevent Digital Burnout and Maintain Good Mental Health at MediaShift

    Special Series: Unplug 2012 at MediaShift

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    Sabbath Manifesto’s Unplug Challenge

    LeaveYourPhoneBehind.com from Rafat Ali

    Remember the Sabbath? at the Guardian

    PKD Foundation website

    Weekly Poll

    Don’t forget to vote in our weekly poll, this time about how often you unplug from technology:

    Mark Glaser is executive editor of MediaShift and Idea Lab. He also writes the bi-weekly OPA Intelligence Report email newsletter for the Online Publishers Association. He lives in San Francisco with his son Julian. You can follow him on Twitter @mediatwit. and Circle him on Google+

    Tagged: digital detox Hamlet's Blackberry sabbath manifesto taking breaks technology sabbath unplug 2012 unplugging

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