My last column dealt with enjoying nature – getting outside and really listening and looking at your surroundings.
My husband sparked another thought this week when he said “It doesn’t matter where I go, I see kids and many adults on their phones typing away, even when they are walking”. Technology has taken over our lives, or at least for most people. It sucks us in deeper and deeper….just one more post to read, one more email or text.
Children today don’t know what it is like to live without computers. I’ve seen kids in the veterinary office where they ask what we are doing when we do math (longhand division or multiplication) to figure out drug dosages. Most children have never used a typewriter. Remember when getting a fax machine was a big deal? Guess I am showing my age.
But the problem remains and is getting worse – technology has taken over so much of what we do that we are losing the old ways of doing things. I don’t even mean the live off the land, off grid life. I mean, I read an article where a girl couldn’t figure out how to open her locked car door because the fob wouldn’t work. She didn’t realize the key opened the door.
So my challenge very so often is just to totally disconnect. I don’t answer the phone, look at emails, or go on line to browse and surf. No laptop. And I am a workaholic to boot, so this can be hard. There is a real feeling of being afraid I’ll miss something important. Carina Wolff had some great ideas in the article 6 Healthy ways to disconnect from technology .
And another thing – children and even some adults, may lose their social skills – how to actually talk to someone without using emoji’s, to make eye contact, to smile and nod their head in a face to face conversation. I’ve seen this in some home-schooled children that have been too isolated – talking in person is just hard for them.
Joshua Becker had some similar enlightening thoughts in his column 7 Reasons to Unplug . In an era of having more, getting the best, buying every want, I love his columns on becoming a minimalist. I was just like my description in my 30’s and 40’s….not so much now another 10 years later. I have too much stuff, too much technology, and too many things that pull me in a direction away from where I want to be.
So when I do unplug, (and I don’t mean using my laptop on battery power) I find I get a lot more done. Inside the house, outside in the yard and garden, or even just taking time to sip a cup of coffee and read a good book (a real paper book, not my Kindle). I will cook using a cookbook, recipe cards or use my imagination rather than do an on line search (although that can be really helpful). Even this column brings me to my counter and laptop to write. But sometimes I sit with a notebook and pen and start writing my thoughts longhand. Writing with a pen in hand is just different from typing away.
What do you do to unplug – or do you even? Is it just too hard? And how do you feel when you forget your phone (we all seem to turn around and go back to get it!). I’d love to hear your thoughts.