Wall Street Journal Article. Just a few days ago, I'd read another interesting article about cyberspace (when you're dead) in the New York Times (both of which I believe were tweeted by the ever-wonderful @nikiblack).
I spend a lot of time online. For work and for fun, but especially when I'm playing poker. While playing, I generally have twitter up in the background, music playing through iTunes, an iPad for email, and my BlackBerry for calls. I generally don't have the TV on, but...sometimes I do. That is a lot of distraction and a lot of multi-tasking (which, of course, is detrimental to playing solid poker). And when I'm not in front of a computer, I'm never without access because I'm never without my BlackBerry.
While in Germany for 16 days, we had very little access to the internet and because I was unsure of the roaming costs, I completely shut down my BlackBerry. In addition to all the sights I was able to see while there, I read four books, played a bunch of charades, enjoyed a great family viewing of The Sound of Music, and just generally reconnected with reality and the truly meaningful loves in my life.
I find myself questioning technology and these articles that recommend "detoxing" or/and logging off. On one hand, I recognize the all-consuming time suck that such technology can be. I can spend an hour going off on a Google search tangent or playing on YouTube. And Lord knows I know how much of an effort (read - time waste) it can be to create an award winning State video (I Haz Chips, anyone?).
On the other hand, this technology is a part of our lives. It's not going anywhere. Indeed, 8% of internet users are Twitter users; and, as intimated in this Pew report, Twitter usage has risen 18% between 2008 through 2010. I guarantee that number will rise in the coming years. (For me, twitter is where I spend the vast majority of my online time. While I have a FB account, I very rarely post things on it and very rarely use it to keep up with friends - I do that in "real" life...and via twitter - ack!)
I certainly understand the need to stay grounded in reality by logging off and going tech-free. At the same time, this technology IS reality in that it is and has become a part of our every day lives. While one could log-off and go all luddite, the fact remains that, for most of us (at least everyone I know), technology is necessary. Sure, you could send snail mail letters and/or conduct business solely in person or on a rotary dial telephone...but, who would your clients be? And how would you get them? And what exactly would your business be?
Do you see my point?
And every technology we have now will either be obsolete or completely different for our children. I can't even begin to imagine what things will look like twenty years from now.
I guess my issue is the feeling that "logging-off" or "detoxing" from technology kind of misses the point. It's kind of like drugs or alcohol...if you have to "detox" from it, then that implies there's a problem or that you're using it wrong. Like alcohol (and drugs), all this technology is not going anywhere. Since that's the case, rather than eschewing what is reality, find the middle ground for you.
There's always something to work on, isn't there? Then again, maybe I'm just an addict. What do you think (rhetorical question - what do you think about technology, detoxing, etc. As always, I'm interested in your thoughts)? Don't answer that, Mom.