"Taking one complete day away from screens each week for the past decade is simply the best thing I have ever done in my 50 years."
Interview with Emmy-nominated filmmaker, founder of the Webby Awards, and author of the national best-selling book 24/6, Tiffany Shlain
Interviewed by Elham Nosrati
October 21, 2020
Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and author of national bestselling book 24/6: The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week, which brought her Marshall McLuhan Outstanding Book Award. She has received over 80 prestigious awards and distinctions for her work. Tiffany Shlain has been recognized by the Newsweek as “one of the women shaping the 21st century." Shlain is an international speaker on the relationship between technology and humanity and her TED Talk has been praised.
In her book 24/6 she shares her experience of practicing unplugging one day a week with the world. Unlike many other books on the topic, not only she is not against technology, she helps readers make a balanced life while using technology.
Now the book 24/6: Giving up Screens One Day a Week to Get More Time, Creativity, and Connection, is available in paper back and we took this opportunity to have an interview with Tiffany Shalin on how we can improve our lives with practicing going off-screen one day a week.
1- Please tell us how living 24/6 can help us live a more balanced life?
Taking one complete day away from screens each week for the past decade is simply the best thing I have ever done in my 50 years. It has made me more grounded, more reflective, more creative and ultimately more productive after that full day off. My daughters 11 & 17 also have loved and gotten a lot out of this full day off. I can’t recommend it in enough. Especially now in the pandemic world we are living when we need to be on screens that much more, this boundary for one day off, will give back so much to your life. I go into detail on all of this in my book. The neuroscience, psychology and the history of this idea. The idea of a day of rest, the sabbath or what I call a Tech Shabbat, It’s over 3000 years for a reason. I have removed from the confines of being a religious practice and want to make it available to everyone to practice.
2- How important you have found practicing 24/6 with children and how it can help them in their future?
My daughter who is 17 loves having one day of no pressure. From school, homework, social. It’s a relief. She is applying to colleges and told me how important it is to her that she can continue this practice in college. She also said in the heat of the pandemic how our Tech Shabbats are the only day she didn’t feel like the she was in quarantine. It was the day she felt free. That’s the way i describe it. I feel liberated on my day without screens. From responding to everyone and taking in so much from the world. We don’t realize that we need to give ourselves space to process without new input. There is so much research that I go into in the book to back this up.
3- How do you suggest us to distinguish the line between technology as a tool (to make a better life) and technology as an aim?
I love technology for so many reasons. I just don’t love it 24/7. We need to give our brains, body and souls a break to think, reflect and be without the input.
4- For those of us who are new to living 24/6 or are planning to join 24/6 community, please tell us about long-term effects of living a 24/6 life?
There are so many people who have read the book and now have brought this practice into their lives which makes me so happy. I have a newsletter I recommend and a fb group called 24/6 Living. I am also very active on social media continuing to share ideas around this. You can find them all in addition to the book, short films I have made on the subject at 24SixLife.com
5- Please tell us about one of the best stories you have heard from your readers on unplugging one day a week.
Someone told me recently it was like they got their mind back….yes, that’s what it feels like.
For Tiffany Shlain's Website: