Technology keeps us instantly connected–no doubt about it. E-mail, Twitter, Facebook, and texting all serve an important function to keep our digital plates spinning and connections with one another intact. The immediacy is both blessing and curse. In fact, sometimes I wonder if I’m more than just a little bit addicted to this flow of information and seeming connectedness. Even when my family goes on vacation, either my spouse or I haul along a laptop and pray for WiFi. To be fair, as writers we do a lot of web research. Vocational concerns aside, do I really need this kind of connection to live thankfully and fully? This is a question I’ll be exploring during my mini-vacation this long weekend. Am I really addicted to this web of connection, and can I disconnect at will without going into spasms of techno-withdrawal?
My youngest daughter is about to exceed her data plan for her iPhone with five days remaining in this month’s billing period. She blames it on the fact that she no longer has a computer that works. When I suggested that she simply not use the data features until the next billing period, she looked at me like I had one eye and three heads. However in the world can one not be “connected” to the world?
A recent study published by the Donald Bren School of Information and Computer Sciences at the University of California, Irvine, shows that being cut off from e-mail at work reduces stress and increases focus. Imagine that! Click here for more information about the study and a link to the report (downloadable PDF).
Why is it so difficult to disconnect? What am I afraid I will be missing? The world will go on without my participation in social media. If someone really wants to contact me, we do have a land line with an answering machine. Plus, I am on vacation. That means I am supposed to disconnect from work and the regular cycles of my daily routine.
So, to that end, I am resolved not to check my e-mail or Facebook until my vacation ends on Monday. And, no, that does not mean that I will be logged on at 12:01 a.m. Monday morning to see what I might have missed. It’s only a weekend right? What could be so tough about that?
I’ll let you know next week how this little experiment goes. Until then, enjoy some pre-planned postings and keep living thankfully one moment at a time.
Photo by photosteve 101 used under Creative Commons License. Thanks!