hands free friday (what in the world it is and how to participate)

i’ve always wanted to start a movement. or at least start a motion that starts a movement. not because i want to be behind something but because i think that movement making is important. staying still for too long leads to atrophy and a host of other unintended consequences. constant movement has opposing (and strikingly similar) extreme results. movements as social constructs, however, cause us to become aware of stuck spaces, groupthink, and habits. when someone who is part of a group that is sharing space moves, the shape of the people around her must adjust. when several people shift, more of the group must accommodate the change. the best communities encourage their members to move about and to be shaped by the healthy movement of others.

herein lies the hope behind hands free friday. 

the goal is to start a movement toward awareness of how often our hands are tied up with phones, ipads, computers, video game controllers, and any other number of devices.

to participate YOU DO NOT NEED TO GO ALL DAY FRIDAY TECH FREE. the goal is to choose a simple act that you might do each friday that requires you to put your phone down for a while. i began with cartwheels and started searching for increasingly silly places to do them each week. i had others chronicle them with photographs on their phones. then i branched out into turning my phone off for 10 to 15 minutes every friday. literally powering it off. it was amazing how bizarre that action felt even to me. from there i began to leave my phone at home or in the car for certain friday outings. i paid better attention at museums when i wasn’t trying to take notes on my phone about the artists. i listened to nature differently when i didn’t have earbuds in. i saw the city (or the country, or my friends, or...) when i wasn’t busy instagramming my every experience. there were no dire consequences when texts went unanswered for a period of time.

hands free friday is not about deprivation as much as it is about experimentation. it’s not about cutting out technology cold turkey as much as it is about becoming aware of just how much an extension of yourself your device has become. it’s about embracing a new moderateness that frees you to experience an embodied life. it’s about doing this in a way that is public, for others to see, so that you can invite them to “move” along with you. 

join me, won’t you? whether for 10 minutes or 2 hours, putting your phone/ipad/video game controller down to feel something else, to do a puzzle, to write a poem/song/letter, to make something, to free your hands up...for friday, for yourself, for your community, and beyond.

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