During the weekend of May 3-5, 2019, members of the Seacoast community are embarking on a 48-hour Digital Fast.
That means no phones, no tablets, no computers, no Internet, no video games, no TV for an entire weekend.
BUT ALSO KIND OF INTRIGUING
Maybe even a little exciting, too?
Well, we are hereby challenging YOU – anyone reading this – to join us.
On Friday, May 3th at 5:30pm, you take all of your digital devices, turn them off, put them in a drawer and walk away. Spend a weekend free from the alerts and pings of the 24-hour news/entertainment/social media cycle. Make people wonder what you’ve been up to. Enjoy quietly reflecting on something instead of instantly sharing your opinions with the world. Get your kids outside. Get outside yourself. Do one thing at a time. Give your eyes and thumbs a rest. Look up instead of down.
Then, at 5:30pm on Sunday, May 5th, go back to the drawer and resume your relationship with the digital world. Or, who knows? Maybe you’ll decide you’re in no rush to get back to it.
Who is behind the Seacoast Digital Fast?
This is a joint effort among members of the Portsmouth school system, the Portsmouth Public Library, business owners, and local artists & musicians.
The idea originated with Portsmouth resident Jeff Stern, who initiated a 48-hour Digital Fast at Bentley University in 2014, and has since coordinated smaller Digital Fasts in the Seacoast.
Watch Jeff’s 2017 talk at TEDxPortsmouth.
But, what are we going to do all weekend?
We are planning a weekend chock full of fun events, games, challenges and gatherings for both kids and adults. Full schedule coming soon, but here are some highlights:
- Friday Kickoff at the Portsmouth Public Libray with food trucks, lawn games and mayoral proclamation!
- DJ Scooch spinning records Friday night at The Wilder
- All-day activities at the PPL (Jedi mind traning, meditation, SCDF book club)
- Screen-free Brunch at Liar’s Bench on Sunday
- Drop-in games at Diversions & G.Willikers
- Postcard writing at Off Piste
- And much more!
We hope this will be a unique opportunity for friends and families to connect with one another, and for members of our community to experience our town and each other from a different perspective.
The more people who do this, the easier (and more fun) it will be. You won’t have to worry about what you’re missing if everyone is doing the Digital Fast with you!
We are getting the word out about this now so that you have plenty of time to plan for this. We know not everyone is able to go device-free for an entire weekend. But if you can do it, maybe you should.
coming soon: buttons!
You’re going to want people to know about this awesome thing you’re doing, so we’re going to provide buttons that tell the world “I’m on a Digital Fast.”
This is a great way to see who else is joining you on your screen-free adventure (because you won’t be on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, remember?).
And…we’re working with local businesses to provide discounts and specials exclusively to SCDF-ers!
Stay tuned for more details on this and to find out where you can get your buttons.
Check out our poster!
Legendary Portsmouth artist Dan Blakeslee has designed our poster this year and we are honored to feature his work. Please feel free to spread this poster far and wide to promote the event!
We will be making more announcements in the coming weeks and we are very open to your suggestions and your involvement. This is going to be a truly collaborative community event, bringing together educators, members of city government, business owners, artists, musicians and more.
We want to hear from you, too.
If you have ideas or would like to get involved with the Seacoast Digital Fast (or if you just want to tell us that there is absolutely no way that you are going to do this because you can’t miss Game of Thrones), please contact Jeff Stern.
Thanks for reading! Now put down your phone and go for a walk!