I had not gone on vacation for over 8.5 years where I was not connected to work in some way. Since I was no longer working over this past Christmas holiday, I had the opportunity to disconnect for the first time. I did not get on the Internet, Facebook, etc., and only used my phone to connect with family that I was away from on the holiday. At one point my father-in-law asked me if I had come up with any brilliant ideas or brainstorms for my future, and my response was: “No. My thoughts are absolute mush, and I’m in lala land, and I love it.”
If there is a book to read in 2012 it is: “The Winter of Our Disconnect: How Three Totally Wired Teenagers (and a Mother Who Slept with Her iPhone) Pulled the Plug on Their Technology and Lived to Tell the Tale” by Susan Maushart. She lives in Australia with her three teenagers, and decides to go for an entire year without technology in their house. If you are like Susan and go to the bathroom with your iPhone and/or sleep with your iPhone, then this book might be for you. For this family, the only way they can be connected to the Internet (for homework or her work) is to go somewhere else, such as the library or a friend’s house. The transformation of her kids and their family life is inspiring to watch. I would like to know how they are coping once they got back into life with technology. Did what they learned and experienced that year stay with them, or did they go back to sleeping with their iPhone(s)?
We all need to disconnect more from our phones, email, Facebook, Twitter, TVs computers, and video games. As Susan shares in her book, doing so means we will experience more of our real lives, connecting with our loved ones, playing more games, musical instruments, cooking, and enjoying life more fully each day. I encourage you to take the time to read Susan’s book. It will inspire you to see how technology might be impacting your life.
If you are not able to disconnect so easily because of your Jetson crazy life, then try going a day a week where you are technology free.