Reading one of my favorite magazines, WIRED, I read a recent article titled “The End of Unplugging” by Mat Honan. In this article he talks about a hike he took where he was without Internet. Through his journey and hike he realized that no matter how hard we try, we are always connected someway.
It is impossible to not be connected in this day and age. It is easy to point the finger and complain about all the issues that this may cause, the lack of thinking, people not being self sufficient without a phone, etc.
However, it is easy to point the finger and come up with excuses and complaints. What we need to come to terms with is that the problem is not the technology.
The problem is us!
As Mat states in his article, “Rather than focusing on taking temporary breaks from technology, we need the discipline to live with it all times.”
This is a rather unique way of looking at the issue. One that I really like and forces the individual to take charge. Lately, I have been working on this discipline. Just this weekend I worked to have my phone on me at all times while working with my son on his book report, but at the same time tried to not look at my phone every 20 seconds. Rather I wanted him to know that his work was important, more important than any tweet that buzzed my phone.
Later in the article, the author states, “The phone isn’t the problem. The problem is us – our inability to step away from email and games and inessential data, our inability to look up, be at an alpine lake or at family members.”
This rings true. We have to learn to develop the discipline to work in both worlds – connected and real time. We have to understand that when we are out for dinner with friends and family that we respect those who we are with and not insult them by focusing more on people we are not directly with. There is this happy medium. We have to take time to be in the moment and not constantly checking in and out and losing out on key moments. There is a time and place for it all.
Instead of pointing fingers, take responsibility, hold yourself accountable, and realize that the problem may be you.
More importantly what strategies have you used to help keep a sense of balance and discipline when it comes to being constantly connected?