24/6 Book Summary - 24/6 Book explained in key points
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24/6 summary

Tiffany Shlain

The Power of Unplugging One Day a Week

4.3 (132 ratings)
15 mins
Table of Contents

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    Rest days have been present in our cultures for thousands of years.

    Rest days are an age-old tradition. Thousands of years ago, Hebrew people began observing a day of rest that they called Shabbat, or the Sabbath. The day was quite literally carved in stone as one of the Ten Commandments, establishing a single, nonnegotiable day without work each week.

    Later, the practice was adopted by other cultures, too. Christians, for example, chose Sundays as their day of rest, while Muslims took Fridays. And it wasn’t only religious groups that recognized the need for a day of abstaining from work. In the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, secular organizations such as unions also stressed the need for days off.

    But it wasn’t until around the turn of the twentieth century that the weekend was established. Having two days of rest freed up time for education, worship, reflection, creativity, and building family bonds.

    Unfortunately, times are changing. Many people no longer have weekends off. In the US, for example, a staggering 63 percent of people report that their employers expect them to work most weekends.

    And it’s not only our weekends that are being eroded. Relatively quickly, digital technologies changed the way we perceive and control our time. As a result, the structure of our days has changed. Take something as simple as access to news. Catching up on the news was something we’d do perhaps once or twice per day – morning and evening – by reading a newspaper. Nowadays, however, we’re constantly bombarded by news updates on TV and on apps on our smartphones. And whereas we might once have read a novel in bed, now we often find ourselves answering emails and messages instead.

    Wasn’t the promise of all this technology that it would shorten the amount of time we all needed to work? Yet now we seem to be connected 24/7 and working more than ever. And this isn’t good for our health or our work. It certainly doesn’t benefit the companies we work for. Research shows that employees working 60 hours a week are actually less productive than if they worked 40 – and what’s more, that overworked employee also faces an increased risk of heart disease and death.

    Clearly, it’s time to start taking back control of your time. In the blinks that follow, you’ll find out why you need rest and sleep, and what you need to do to establish your own Tech-Shabbat traditions.

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    What is 24/6 about?

    24/6 (2019) implores us to redefine our relationship with technology by taking a break from screens for a full 24 hours each week. It provides a brief history of rest, and explains both why you need it and how taking a break can improve your effectiveness, creativity, and relationships.

    Who should read 24/6?

    • Screen addicts looking to kick their habit
    • Sleep-deprived Netflix junkies
    • Anyone concerned about 24/7-connected living

    About the Author

    Tiffany Shlain is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker, founder of the Webby Awards, and author of the national bestselling book 24/6, winner of the Marshall McLuhan Outstanding Book Award. She lectures worldwide on the relationship between technology and humanity, and her show Dear Human premiered at the Museum of Modern Art in New York. Shlain has received over 80 awards and distinctions for her films and work, including selection for the Albert Einstein Foundation’s list of Visions for the Future, and inclusion on NPR’s list of Best Commencement Speeches.

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