If you are anything like me you’ve probably used your phone for at least a couple things: as an alarm to wake up, to check your e-mail, to send a text, to read some news, to take a picture, or to listen to music on the way to school or work – oh yeah, and perhaps you’ve also used it to answer a call or two (we forget their original purpose from time to time). We all use some form of technology on a daily basis and for some people it has become an indispensable part of life.
I am reminded of my reliance on technology whenever I forget my phone at home and I am forced to navigate life without the aid of the internet, e-mail, texts, and the general entertainment that comes with a web connection – no Twitter, no Facebook, no texting, no Pandora, no nothing: What is a person to do?
Well, we forget how simple it is to just have a conversation with the person next to us or to look at the people nearby and appreciate the passing moment. People have survived from the beginning of time and lived thriving lives without Google, Hopstop, GPS, etc., so it can’t be too tall an order for us to cut off from technology every once in a while, right? Then once we unplug from our virtual reality we are free to step into the real world around us, interacting with people right in front of us. There is something to be said about having a good old fashion conversation with the person standing next to you in line, sitting next to you on a train, plane, or in a doctor’s office.
Many social media sites on the Internet such as Facebook give us a false sense of connection. We have acquaintances whom we rarely see, yet we know how their day is going or what bar they’ll be hitting up on a given night. We probably do not speak to them yet they are considered part of our network of ‘friends.’ While these networks are undoubtedly useful when it comes to keeping us connected but they also tend to fog our sense of reality if we allow them to do so.
Of course, I do not mean to undervalue technology’s worth, but like anything else in life, nothing is good in excess. We should all unplug once in a while and see what is out there. I have had many memorable conversations when I’ve decided not to ‘plug in.’ I once met an older lady traveling to New York from Arizona; she was a psychology professor and told me about her classes, her students and the state of education. It was a lovely and interesting conversation; I remember her because she had a great amount of enthusiasm for her profession and she was very excited to be heading to New York City.
Whether you can unplug for a week, a day, or a couple of hours, try it! See what is out there beyond the bright lights of a computer or phone screen. You are bound to encounter something, whether it is a pleasant conversation, a moment of peace, or who knows, maybe a lasting friendship. It is good to take a moment and look around what is right in front of us, because that is where life happens, and there is no ‘app for that.’
Written By Miluska