The Walden Zone

Cathy Zhang
Mar 30, 2015 · 2 min read

If someone told you that it would be possible for every room of your house to be filled with large digital screens covering every surface, would you be happy or would you be overwhelmed?

For many people, the idea of having access to technological devices simply by touching a surface on the wall or table (not being limited to a phone or computer anymore) is amazing; there is nothing more convenient than that.

However, what many people do not think about is the detrimental impact it has on the home. As William Powers discusses in his New York Times bestseller, Hamlet’s Blackberry, a home is a personal, protective, private refuge for every one of us, and it is the only place where we can take a break from the world. It should not be turned into a connective device that brings in the crowd’s chaos because that ruins the whole purpose of what a home is supposed to be.

“How can you relax and recharge when the whole world is living with you?”

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Replica of Henry David Thoreau’s cabin (his Walden zone) near Walden Pond in Massachusetts

Powers uses Henry David Thoreau’s Walden to explain that the best solution is to make a Walden zone, also known as a quiet room/zone. Thoreau made his own Walden zone in the 1800s by escaping from the crowd and living in the woods for two years. He wanted to simplify his heart, mind and surroundings, so he could be truly happy at home, which is what we need to do.

We need to simplify.

Powers suggests that we should have at least one room in our house that can act as a Walden zone, free from technology and digital gadgets that make our home less of a home.

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Reactions to “Hamlet’s Blackberry”

Guest Author: Bill Powers / “Internet and Society”…

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