ABC World News, 2008

Transcript from Ariel’s ABC World News appearance regarding 52 Nights Unplugged.

Reporter: A lesson for home as well. Ariel Meadow Stallings evenings were constant busy work. On the internet, on her cell phone, email from work.

Ariel: I would just watch hours sort of slip away.

Reporter: Now, one night ever week, she turns off the electronics.

Ariel: There’s just a re-engagement in the world — that sense of how time passes.

Reporter: …Discovering life just works better when there’s time to think.

Watch full segment here.


Reuters, April 2008

Texting while driving? Time to unplug

By Jill Serjeant

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Sharon Sarmiento knew it was time to unplug when she realized she was blogging in her dreams and hearing imaginary instant messages.

For Ariel Meadow Stallings, it was the hours lost while surfing the Internet that left her feeling like she had been in a drunken blackout.

Stallings, 33, a Seattle author, blogger and part-time marketing manager for Microsoft Corp, made a resolution in January to spend “52 Nights Unplugged” this year.

“I love technology. I’m not a Luddite. But I realized it was a problem when I would sit down to check my email and it was almost like I would wake up six hours later and find I was watching videos of puppies on YouTube.

“I’d try and think what I had been doing for the past two hours and I had no idea. I associate that kind of time loss with blackouts when you’re drunk,” she said.

Read the full article.


NY Times, March 2008

My unplugging project showed up in the New York Times this morning, quite to my surprise: I Need a Virtual Break. No, Really.

THIS movement to unplug appears to be gaining traction everywhere, from the blogosphere, where wired types like Ariel Meadow Stallings ( brag about turning off the screen one day a week (and how many books they’ve read so far this year), to the corporate world.

For the record, I believe the journalist is referring to some other “wired type” with the book reading thing. I could never brag about how many books I’ve read this year, since the number is about, oh, two — the most recent being a vampire novel written for 13 year old girls.

…But speaking of books, cross your fingers that this makes things easier for my literary agent, who’s been shopping around my book pitch for 52 Nights Unplugged: A Digital Junkie’s Rehab.

Anyway, I love the closing paragraph of the article:

Once I moved beyond the fear of being unavailable and what it might cost me, I experienced what, if I wasn’t such a skeptic, I would call a lightness of being. I felt connected to myself rather than my computer. I had time to think, and distance from normal demands. I got to stop.

Read the whole thing: I Need a Virtual Break. No, Really.