I’d like to claim there was no post yesterday because we were observing the National Day of Unplugging. Um, did you even know there was a National Day of Unplugging this weekend?
“The National Day of Unplugging is a 24 hour period – running from sunset to sunset – and starts on the first Friday in March. The project is an outgrowth of The Sabbath Manifesto, an adaption of our ancestors’ ritual of carving out one day per week to unwind, unplug, relax, reflect, get outdoors, and connect with loved ones.”
I can’t even begin to tell you how conflicted I am about this. As a professional Nature Nerd™ I think stepping away from the computer is a good thing. I spend WAY too much time staring at my computer screen and sitting on my ass. I love going for long walks in the woods, and I’m lucky enough that’s easy to do where I live in Connecticut.
I am old enough to remember when there were no cell phones to distract everyone from a conversation or a meal. I am profoundly grateful that I was able to go through my horrible horrible high school years without every stupid damn idiot thing I did being broadcast to the world and preserved forever. And people, I was in high school in the 1970s. Ain’t NOBODY looked good in that giant collar, bell-bottom, double-knit jumpsuit shit.
I also am old enough that I remember when cell phones didn’t exist. Or the internet. Or personal computers. I took a computer class in college where we wished we had a computer cool enough to have cassette tape storage. We had a giant clunker that read punch cards. These things. I had hundreds of them.
So, frankly, while I absolutely love being outdoors and not hearing anything other than wild animals and natural sounds–I also absolutely F’n LOVE having a tiny supercomputer in my pocket while I do that. My phone let me record cicadas on Nantucket last year, and helped confirm their presence. I can take a photo of a bird I can’t identify for later reference. I have an app that lets me look them up in the field.
If I fall and tear my Achilles tendon in the middle of a National Forest, I can freakin’ call someone to get me, instead of having to hike out for a day, hobbling as best I could with a fully loaded pack. That was 1987, and I’m still a little crabby about that.
I love technology. Because of the internet, I have amazing friends all over the globe. I wouldn’t trade that for anything.
Personally, I think instead of a ban on electronics, we need to be more mindful of what we are doing and where. If I’m having dinner with you, my phone is in my pocket. And I’m gonna make fun of you until you put yours away too.
The advantage of being a crabby old lady is I can yell at you kids to turn your damn iPods off and get off my lawn.
What about you? How do you deal with connectivity overload? Is it a problem?
The Afternoon Inquisition (or AI) is a question posed to you, the Skepchick community. Look for it to appear Sundays, Tuesdays and Thursdays at 3pm ET.