I am somewhat of an anomaly as an instructional technologist.
Meaning, technology and I– weÂ have a love/hate relationship. You know, it’s complicated. It’s not you technology, it’s me.
It is my job to stay on top of “current and emerging” technologies. Try new things, test new things, create new things. Have the research and case studiesÂ handy to back up its effectiveness in education.Â Â AndÂ ultimately coax and encourageÂ adoption of these “things” by the faculty and staff.Â Â WhatÂ goes on in theÂ digital world is nothing short of a 1000 miracles.Â I should know, I spend 8 hours a dayÂ living in it.Â I freakin’ love it.
It’s FASCINATING,Â Â the speed of digital evolution. The effect it has on our lives [and if you’re reallyÂ feeling philosophical, human evolution].
BUT – when I leave work, I pull the plug. I disconnect from the digital world.Â There is no smart phone in my possession, I do not touch a computer outside of work. And guess what??? I am still alive andÂ [gasp] have a healthy social life.Â ThereÂ have beenÂ times (no joke) when I go all weekend withoutÂ using a phone.Â What do I do? I hang out with human beings, garden, swim, bike, run,Â read books. It’s GLORIOUS.
A single mother and her three teenagers tookÂ digital technology rebellionÂ to a higher level andÂ went 6 months withoutÂ electronic mediaÂ .Â Â She lived to tell the tale in The Winter of Our Disconnect. Read it.
Ivan Cash started a project Snail Mail my EmailÂ on July 15thÂ in which youÂ type a message to a friend, lover, family member via email and volunteers hand-write itÂ then send it via snail mail free of charge.Â True, its not yourhandwriting,Â but the recipient willÂ be overjoyedÂ to find a good ole’ fashioned letter in their mailbox. Update: There has been such an overwhelming response they have pulled the site to restructureÂ and Â meet the needs of the project.
Other projects have popped up globally like the recent National Day of UnpluggingÂ by Sabbath Manifesto or the freeÂ application, Freedom,Â that forces your computer to go offline for up to 8 hours at a time.Â There areÂ even apps toÂ preventÂ you from texting while driving.
It’s natural that a world becoming so increasinglyÂ “connected” would eventually see a trend to disconnect.Â No need to go to extremes, it just takes a little practice in the lost art of self discipline.
Take it from a girl who unplugs regularly.Â It’s refreshing.
thanks John M. forÂ the picture poseÂ