My life: Unplugged

August 23, 2008 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


Okay … I’m doing it … I’m actually doing it.
Going on vacation.
I’m not headed anywhere particularly exotic, though I am leaving town.
The weather won’t be tropical and beachy, in fact it may be raining.
But I don’t care.
For me, this is all about just doing it. Unplugging.
“Um, Cathy. What’s the big deal? People turn off their computers and cell phones all the time.”
In light of the reactions that many gave to my telling them I was extricating myself from the social media power grid for a handful of days, I became more convinced that our ever-connectedness was, indeed, more than a little bit of a societal problem.
And then I read today’s New York Times (Yes, I actually read the physical paper … almost all of it I’m proud to say) … and came across Ben Stein’s column.
For starters, I love Ben Stein.
To anyone who grew up through the John Hughes films of the mid 1980s Ben Stein’s iconic drone of “Bueller? … Bueller?” punctuated pretty much any lag in response time during a conversation.
Over time I grew to learn that he was not just “that guy” from Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, but indeed an accomplished writer, comic, actor and someone who actually also had a solid knack for offering great financial advice.
While whirring away on the elliptical at the hotel gym today, Ben Stein caught my attention with his musing on the digital shackles with which we bind ourselves. He speaks of the things we miss – like being human.
And so that’s my test for myself this week – just how connected can I be to the people immediately around me? How connected can I be to the sights and sounds and smells of my here and now?
Obviously I’m writing this while on vacation so I’ve not wholly severed my connection, but have committed to only writing and perhaps posting some photos from my adventures.
Who knows, maybe I’ll have some stories to share.
I tend to think so.


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