There is a growing phenomenon of people who can’t seem to survive without their cell phones and/or Internet access. They have a compulsion to stay connected 24/7. When they go on vacation, they won’t leave without their technology They actually develop anxiety when they’re electronically disconnected from the rest of the world. The thought of unplugging causes panic and a foreboding sense loss and confusion.
In a way, I understand this. In my work technology is an essential element, which without I could not accomplish much. For those rare times when I lose my Internet connection, I feel helpless because so much of what I do requires access to Cyberspace—such as composing this blog entry.
Yet, when I end my workday, I can make it without being online. Yes, the World Wide Web is a nice tool and a convenient resource, but it is just a tool, nothing more; it is not essential to life and living. I can survive without it. Mobile devices are just tools, nothing more; they aren't essential to life and living. Click To Tweet
On my recent trip, I chose not lug my laptop. As such, I went 90-plus hours without checking email. What a pleasant break! True, I did pay for it when I returned, with hundreds of messages clamoring for my attention and requiring a full day to wade through, but the respite from the information superhighway was wonderfully refreshing.
I did pack my cell phone, but that was primarily to call home. (By the way, my cell phone is just a phone—no Internet access, no text, nothing but voice). Even then, the cell phone was off much of the time—and didn’t work in the convention center anyway.
Frankly, despite my great affection for technology and constant use of it at work, I look forward to those times when I can totally set it aside and live life sans Internet and cell phone.
I can disconnect, can you?
Wordsmith Peter DeHaan is a magazine publisher by day and a writer by night. Check back each week for updated content, and look for his upcoming book, Woodpecker Wars.