I decided to try out this whole independence from technology thing on the 4th of July. I will unplug myself from all my personal devices, said the woman as she typed an internet post on the computer, that will be uploaded shortly with a photo taken with her phone.
Now, don’t get me wrong. I can’t just become a hermit for a day and ignore the technology all around me.
Well, that’s not true. I guess I could pull a John the Baptist and go out in the desert and eat some bugs or something. However, I’m just not into that.
I think it’s more challenging to stay off tech when in the midst of it. So, I will try my hardest to abstain from my own techie stuff during a normal day. Might be quite a task.
Phones, computers, tablets, television, enable me to: listen to music to workout, play around on social media, check emails, texts, news, along with a plethora of other things.
At day’s end, I usually traverse down Wikipedia’s rabbit hole to learn something new. Did you know the original gummy bears were invented in 1922 Germany and were inspired by the trained dancing bears popular at festivals there? Everyone needs to know that!
Uneasiness enters my brain as I wonder if I can do this for 24 hours. I’m typing fast. I only have 30 more minutes.
Would it count if I just vow to stay off my phone and not other technology? I’m thinking, naw. That would be like someone trying to lose weight saying, “I eat all desserts except for anything with chocolate. I’m on a diet.”
While I was reading this out loud. I got to what I thought was the end. I’d written, “Now the trick is, to get my kids to do it.”
My kids heard. They looked up with wild, scared eyes as if I’d just told them the world is going to end. “We’re not doing that,” my son said. Science studies reveal limiting kids’ screen time is a beneficial, healthy rule. But, that’s my job as a parent, not my son’s.
It made me wonder what might be a growing market and career in the future. I think more therapists will specialize in generalized technology addiction. The problem already exists.
Not surprisingly, it’s got a name: Internet Use Disorder, or (IUD) which is kind of funny, considering the other type of IUD is birth control. So, they both are trying to control something one technological and the other biological.
Watch people walk down the street texting as they run into poles or people. See toddlers playing with iPads at grocery stores. Honk at someone because they were checking texts at a stop light lately?
Yep is the answer to all of these questions unless you haven’t noticed because you were looking on a device of your own.
My kids and students have never lived without Amazon (1994), Google (1998), YouTube (2005), iPhones, (2007) or Netflix (1997). Those are just a few.
Have you ever tried talking to a kid about video stores where you actually had to go out of your home, drive somewhere, and rent a movie on a freakin’ tape?
Their eyes glaze over. In their minds you morph into an old man sitting in a rocking chair smoking a pipe saying, “Sonny, let me tell you about them old days.”
On July 4th, I’ll dive in to get a snapshot of life before so many screens, if only for a moment. I’ll be looking up at the fireworks instead of down at memes of fireworks on my phone.
Though, I suspect like vampires to the light, I’ll be forced to shield my eyes from the light of technology anytime one of my kids or friends says, “Check out this cool meme on my phone!” I think I can handle it. Hopefully, I won’t turn into dust.
(Enriching music: Us and Them, Pink Floyd; Freedom, Rage Against The Machine)