Remember the days before Wikipedia and Google when it was possible not to know something, when you could argue a point to death with each side convinced they were right? Remember when you only checked in to a hotel, and liked more things than just a status update or photo album, when tweeting was something left to the birds?
It’s a little scary to think how quickly technology has improved and proved itself indispensable to our day to day living.
But, all this remembering has lead us to think about the possible upsides of not being so connected all the time.
- We can focus on the experience: When an accidental coffee spill left me without a cell for a few days last year, I experienced some of the best memories of that year — mostly because I was completely undistracted. I wasn’t caught up in catching up on news, feeling compelled to tweet or give a Facebook update. I actually enjoyed the moments, had long conversations and – overall, created more meaningful experiences with those around me.
- Use more senses: If you haven’t noticed the most used fashion statement now a day is earbuds. While I love having my entire music library available to mold to my mood: an upbeat song to wake me up, a moody song when I’m feeling homesick, my sleep mix on after a long day. But constantly having earbuds in cuts us off from the world: the sound of birds or kids at play, the opportunity to make a new friend by offering casual conversation.
- Have more unexpected moments: Being connected often cuts us off from the world aroud. Having your earphones in, being engrossed in your cell phone or typing away at your laptop automatically tells surrounding people that you’re not to be disturbed. It prevents people from starting a conversation or involving you in their lives: it really does isolate you in your own world.
- Be a better friend: When we turn off the noise of being connected, we automatically become a more enjoyable person to be around. When I don’t have my phone, I’m a much better listener because I’m not checking text messages or becoming distracted by the beep of an incoming email.
- Think ahead (or work harder): Without having the luxury of a smart phone with GPS and online recommendations we need to plan routes in advance and research before outings it. It forces us to be more prepared and make more of an effort: We can’t just rely on our smartphones to do it for us.