[ew, looks like I need to dust my plugs too!]
I have a confession: I’m utterly, entirely, 100% addicted to my BlackBerry. Actually, addicted may be an understatement. I’m addicted to peanut butter, love, and writing. But that doesn’t mean I’m sitting clenched to a jar of peanut butter all day long, fantasizing about love with a pen in my hand. No, that’s not how it works. But with my BlackBerry it’s a complete different story. I’m literally with it day in and day out that you’d think it’s like my child or something. I’m one of *those girls* who texts someone something sassy (or bold, or daring, or just plain stupid) then puts my phone on silent and checks back every minute to see if I got a response. I’m one of *those girls* who freaks out if I forget my phone at home, like it’s going to be the end of the world and Rachel can simply not go on without it. Really, I left the magical, ever-so-worthy Blackberry at home once and had a pitty party the entire cab ride to the bar. Turns out, no missed calls when I got home anyway! I’m one of *those girls* who tweets all day long from the phone, who can email with my fingers faster than many people can type (on a real computer) and who googles…everything.
But the BlackBerry is just the start of it. I usually don’t leave the house without my pink Mac (yes, it’s pink), even though I’d probably get in trouble if I left the house without it ’cause, um, my job kinda depends on it. I also BBM, text an unhealthy amount (drunk texts/playful texts/silly texts/ “I’m bored” texts/miss you texts, and Facebook stalk like it’s my job (but sometimes it really is…I do work in social media after all). So yes, I guess you can say I am just a tad addicted with technology. My mom once told me I was going to hurt my thumb (her excuse to make me stop texting) and in high school by dad dubbed my sister and I “finger talkers” for the unnecessary about of IMing we did. (Remember those days?)
Anyway, the truth of the matter is, I’m not the only one with this sort of addiction. Every where I go people are glued to their phones/their laptops/their gadgets. Take riding the T for example. People don’t even look up at each other anymore, and instead play “games” on their phones or pretend to be texting…or really are texting. It’s sick. And I’m one of them.
An old friend from high school (who I admire greatly for his AMAZING movie-making talent) reached out to me the other day about the matter through…dun dun dun…a Facebook message. I had told him a while back that if he ever had any advice for me on my writing/blogging/life journey to please shoot it over. And that he did. And I must admit what he said left quite the impression on me.
“ I started a Facebook group once for the hell of it to “unplug” and disconnect, sign off, and go out to the real world and live the analog, acoustic lifestyle. I think that’s important everyone once in a while. From putting down the cell phone to telling stories around a bon fire, life seems to have more meaning when it isn’t computed into 1′s and 0′s to be sent over a digital network where meaning is lost because the human element is missing.”
He then admitted that we’re all guilty of “digital acts,” but that every once in a while he tries to unplug and enjoy it. Unplug. The sound of it is refreshing in itself. Ahhh. Unplug. Me unplug? Sure, I’d love to! But how?
How do you unplug when your job/your social life/your every move is run by technology?
Well, my friend here gave a few examples including reading a book (hey, even if it’s just 30 minutes before bed), writing a book (something I myself am working on at the time, but I guess I could do it on *paper* every once and a while), or buying a disposable camera and forgetting all the pictures you’ve taken (I used to LOVE getting pictures developed because of this, but it’s sadly lost it’s excitement through the years).
Still torn on how to “unplug” throughout your daily life? Write a letter through snail mail to an old friend. Talk to a stranger in the coffee shop. Put your phone in your purse text time you take public transportation and *smile* at someone, or compliment someone’s shirt. Go to a museum and get lost in all the beautiful art. Go to a recital/a play/a performance. Turn off the TV. Put your favorite album on and just be. Cook homemade pizza with your roommate/your boyfriend/your sister/your husband. Savor every bite. Make muffins from scratch. Write a poem. Write in a diary. Go for a long walk or hike on a trail you’ve never traveled before. Go leaf collecting! Visit a farm and taste some homemade fresh apple cider. Go pumpkin picking! Join a book club/a sports club/ a single’s club. Make new friends (but keep the old). You get the point. And do all of this without your beloved BlackBerry/laptop/iPhone/iPod/i-whatever. Do it with just you.
I dare you to go ahead and unplug, even if it is is just for a day, a few hours, hell even a few minutes. Unplug yourself. It’s the healthy thing to do.
What do you do to “unplug” from a world that seems overdosed on technology?