I know there are many articles, blog posts, and general opinions along the lines of “technology is taking over our lives”. I always chimed in with general agreeance, but never thought much about it. Until I went to the gym yesterday. For me, going to the gym is a nice break from the work I have to do, from my laptop and my phone. It is a time to just listen to my music and workout for an hour or two. However, it seems I am a minority when it comes to this. All around me people were checking Facebook on their phone while running on the treadmill, texting friends while working out on the rowing machine, quickly checking Twitter in between workouts. Is this really necessary? Have we become so obsessed with the online world that we cannot leave it be for a few hours? It seems that for most people this is the case.
While I love my phone and everything I can do with it, I don’t get withdrawal symptoms when I can’t access it for two hours. Actually, I treasure this time. I like being unavailable for a bit, to just have some time to myself. I know that in two hours time, my phone will still be there, and that most likely, I will not have missed numerous life changing things happening on social media. The same goes for social interaction. I feel like people forget that the most normal, and in my mind valuable, social interaction is face to face. Sure, it is nice to be able to online message your friends, but is it really as nice as talking to them in person? Not in the slightest.
Some of my favourite vacations are those where I will be without Internet for a bit of time. Last summer my family and I went to Iceland for three weeks. For the majority of our time there we were staying in cottages situated in very remote areas. This meant there was no Wi-Fi, no cell phone reception, no television. To some, this sounds horrible. To me, it sounds like paradise. I got to spend three weeks in nature, and with my cell phone and laptop pretty much useless without Internet and reception, I truly felt at peace. There were no distractions. No distractions from Iceland’s beauty, no distractions from one another. Another upside, you really appreciate technology once you can use it again.
Because as much as I like taking a break from it, I do really enjoy it as well. Just as much as others I love to cruise through social media, to communicate with my friends online, to Skype family members. All I’m saying is that taking a break every now and then will only do you some good. So my advice; unplug for some time each day.