Technology has done wonders for allowing people to stay digitally connected. Whether it is through the use of social media, the many apps available to anyone who owns a smartphone or just the use of the internet, we have become a society that is digitally connected to anyone anywhere 7 days a week/365 days a year. As much as this type of connection has brought ease to the way we conduct our lives, has it come at a cost of how we interact with others?
It used to be that the only way to connect with someone was to pick up a home or business phone and call someone. Before the advent of the answering machine there would be limited opportunities as to what the end result would be. If lucky there might be someone who answered the call. There might also have been the possibility of getting a busy signal or worse no answer at all. In our current world of instant gratification most couldn’t even fathom the last two possibilities.
At what cost has the instant gratification of connection affected our everyday lives? From the moment one gets up in the morning until the moment they go to bed some use their smartphone as their lifeline for communication. They are constantly looking at it to check the latest social media update or email received. Instead of physically looking at someone during a conversation many have their noses buried into whatever smartphone they carry. It makes those surrounding them wonder if they are being listened to or being tuned out.
Is it possible to get through a day, let alone a week, without being digitally connected? The simple answer is YES. I know that it is possible because I got to experience this first hand. For a week this past August I spent time at a camp where I did not have cell phone service and by choice chose to stay away from the one place at camp that had internet access. Being someone that relies on being digitally connected for business I found it very refreshing to be disconnected. Instead of looking at my phone or signing on to the internet I spent my time connecting with fellow campers, experiencing new activities and just plain having fun. I did not once worry about missing the latest update or call. By being digitally disconnected I was able to connect with passions new and old, personal and for business.
As much as one can plead the case of the benefits of staying digitally connected, being a slave to it can end with negative results. We have become a society that lacks patience. We let our thirst for instant gratification dictate how we communicate with others. We advocate and encourage the youth of today to use this avenue of communication instead of connecting with family, friends or teachers face to face.
By taking the opportunity to digitally disconnect from technology we offer ourselves the opportunity to open up and connect with ourselves and each other on a more organic level.
Get in on the conversation. Have you had the opportunity to become digitally disconnected? If so, how was it? If you haven’t had a chance to take a digital break is it something you want to try? Let us know your thoughts on disconnecting to connect in the comment section below.
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