On ditching technology

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I have thought about doing this in the past and I’m pretty sure I made this vow before. I might have written about it on this blog or in my journal, but who knows. I can’t remember and I’m not about to go read through about 2 years worth of ramblings to find one little sentence or paragraph or whatever.

What vow? Well. Here it goes. Some may laugh, some may cry, most will think I’m crazy. Maybe a select few will join me.

Two days a month (Probably Sundays) I’m going to give up technology for the day. I’ll wake up in the morning and go about my day not checking my phone, not getting online, nothing until 10pm that night. Come on, not even I can go a whole 24 hours without technology when it is readily available. Actually I probably could. After all, that’s what I do in Townville. Maybe if I was triple dog dared. Actually probably just dared.

What am I going to do with all of this time disconnected from the world?!? Won’t I fall off the face of the planet? What will happen to me if I’m not connected 24/7! Maybe the world will forget about me!

What did I do a little less than 7 years ago before I had a cell phone?

Exercise. Explore. Create. A combination of all of them.

Of course I’ll take my phone with me. You never know when an emergency will pop up and since the advent of the cell phone ‘phone book’ the only numbers I remember off the top of my head are my mom’s cell phone, my parent’s house, and my grandma. Not very useful in the event of an accident or emergency when I’m 3000 miles away.

Painting. Reading. Writing. (These are the creating things)

It will be me time. Hopefully I’ll come up with some wonderful artistic creations or stories to post on here,  Cross some books off of my list while adding another book to my GoodReads 2012 book count. (I’ve promised myself to read 30 books this year. I think I can break that since I’m already ‘ahead of schedule’ with 2 down and 28 to go.)

This idea was somewhat prompted from a game I found on Tumblr. This girl noticed that when she was out with friends, a majority of the time spent together everyone had their heads bent  and were focused on their smart phones either texting [why is this not a word yet?], getting connected to social media, or just surfing the web.While I believe in the power of social media and it’s important in today’s technological society, I also feel like we’re lost touch with the people around us – literally.

The rules of the game are simple. When out with friends, you stack your phones up, face down, on the table after ordering. The first person to reach for their phone or to pick it up, has to pay the bill at the end. If no one touches their phone before the bill is placed on the table, then everyone pays their share. Of course, this doesn’t work if the place you go requires you to order at the counter.

I love the idea. I know that I’m a culprit. Usually, though, I’ll check my phone because I notice that I’m one of the only ones not on my phone and then I feel awkward. Generally I’m the only one without a smart phone. This won’t change. VIVA LE RESISTANCE!

I’ve been thinking about how smart phones and staying connected are ruling social lives these days and maybe ruining those precious human connections between friends. I went to see The Nutcracker this winter at the San Francisco Ballet. We were sitting in the second to last row at the very top of the upper balcony. I could see everything. It was kind of appalling how many smart phone screens were lit up while the ballet was going on. Now boyfriends, I know that you don’t really like the ballet (most of the time). You just put up with it to make your lady happy and so that hopefully you’ll get some action later for this grand romantic Christmas gesture of taking your girlfriend to watch men prance around in tights. I, and I’m sure the ballet company, find it disrespectful. Maybe I’m old fashioned, but the ballet is short. It is less than an hour and a half of your time. Nothing is that important unless your wife is having a baby or there is an emergency.

I was at a concert two weekends ago. My friend who came with me was on Facebook while the band was playing.

It’s hard to think back on the time when we didn’t have cell phones. When we couldn’t just pull out an iPhone and look something up. Then again, I can’t do this and I know a few others who are also resisting the smart phone. I wonder when we won’t have a choice in the matter. Recently I was reading an article from the Thought Catalog – 20 New  Years Resolutions for 20-somethings. I’m a 20 something. It is a wonderful list and I’m sure I will touch on more of them through other posts in the future, but the one really sticks with me for this post. It’s number 11.

Wait 30 seconds before you look up a fact you can’t remember on your phone, and try to remember it using your brain. This is what the olden days were like.

I would prefer a bit longer than 30 seconds. How about 5 minutes? 5 minutes of you actively thinking about what it was that you needed to know. A good way to practice? Go to trivia at a pub. Some places will disqualify you for having your cell phone out. I fully support this.

I’m going off on a tangent.

Join me! Give up technology for a day! Just ONE day. And see what you can accomplish.

 

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