30 Sep Disconnecting
Is it me or is life more stressful than it used to be? I think it’s more stressful because there’s not a minute in the day when we are not connected to technology. Technology is supposed to make life easier, but it actually just makes us more accessible to everyone in the entire world. And I just heard that wireless is about to become standard in automobiles. Thank you, On Star. This means we will never be able to escape connectivity. It will follow us wherever we go. Literally.
Even cruise lines are getting on board. (Sorry, I couldn’t resist that pun). Am I the only one who finds that depressing?
I like the instant gratification of being able to check emails and Twitter feeds as much as the next guy, but I treasure my ability to disconnect. I like silencing my phone and actually talking to people – in person. And that is becoming increasingly rare.
My kids grew up knowing that they were not allowed to use their cell phones either at the dinner table or in the car. These were the two sacred places that I knew I’d have their undivided attention. Windshield time became a precious space in which I could learn what was going on with each of my kids. Since they weren’t allowed to text or call friends, they actually talked to me on the way to games and practices.
As technology continues to permeate our lives, it will be up to us to control it instead of letting it control us. That means, we don’t have to answer every text the second our phone makes a noise. In fact, we can turn our phones off if we need down time. OnStar or no OnStar, I think cell phones in the car will continue to be off limits when my kids are with me. And, if I go on a cruise, I’m going to disconnect even when wireless is everywhere. As the new Starbucks ad campaign so beautifully demonstrates, sometimes the best way to connect with people is to disconnect from everything else.