“Secular sabbaths”

As a noted expert on unproductivity, I got randomly quoted in this Associated Press story about secular sabbaths:

… in an increasingly wired, material world, a version of that spiritual tradition known as a “Secular Sabbath” is gaining appeal outside religious communities.

Jacob Grier, a 25-year-old blogger in Arlington, Virginia, has instituted “no laptop” Sundays for the past two years.

He got tired of working at his local coffee shop and seeing everybody hidden behind their computer screens, ignoring each other, so he started leaving his laptop at home and bringing books instead. He started talking to people at the shop instead of interacting with others on the Internet.

Now, his routine has expanded to incorporate some other friends and a whole day’s worth of unwired activities. They meet first for coffee, they read, they go to a neighborhood cafe for a late lunch, come back, and close the session by sitting outside and smoking cigars.

Grier is an atheist, but he says what his Sundays offer is similar to what some people look for in religious services.

“The large reason people go to church is to bond with their community, and in the same way, you can get that from going to the coffee shop every week,” he says.

Hey, look at that! I said something positive about going to church!

Victrola Coffee, which started turning off the wi-fi on weekends a few years ago, also gets a mention.


3 thoughts on ““Secular sabbaths””

  1. Isn’t there a ridiculous ego-boost in getting quoted in the media?

    Of course, the best coverage I’ve received is a local NPR affiliate covering a legal clinic in which I was a student. You, on the other hand, are now a national media celebrity. How did you manage to wrangle several paragraphs of an AP story?

  2. One of the perks of my think tank job is access to a feed of journalists seeking sources. Usually they’re for topics totally outside my realm of expertise, but this one seemed like something I’d be good for.

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