Cell Phone Disconnect
I have a musical festival that I go to every year. As much as I go to the festival for the music I really go just to get away from the day-to-day and be with my friends. The festival, at least for the time being, is located in a place where there is minimal cell phone reception so I really do get to escape. There comes a point on my drive that I no longer get reception and I have to let go of my connections to the world and just deal with the reality around me.
That disconnect is something I really like. I grew up in a time when people did not have cell phones. People went on vacations and didn’t check how things were back home. People went home from work at night and didn’t check in. Now I check my email when I get up, before I go to bed and periodically most every day. I feel like I need to be perpetually on top of things. I get momentary time off, but for the most part I am chained to my work, my friends and my life. A prisoner of technology.
I imagine kids today will know no other world. They will be continually connected. At the school where I work it is all a teacher can do to keep students from checking their cell phones during class. I have kids in my office all the time tell me they cannot live without their cell phone for more than short periods of time. And when I say short periods of time I mean very short periods of time. Their phone vibrates and it is all they can do to wait till class is finished or dinner is over. Most of the families at school have lost the battle to have meals without cells. Even parents have a hard time not checking their phones.
I don’t have a pedestal I want to stand on and preach the value of disconnected time. I just want to say that for me, time away from the call of the cell is time well spent. I get to fully appreciate what I am doing and who I am doing it with. I don’t get distracted from the events of the moment.
I realize as I write this I could turn my phone off when I am at home. I could not sit in front of my computer. I could give myself the gift that going away to the music festival provides. I could listen to the music I heard at the festival, sit in a chair and relax. In fact I even do that now and then. But my cell phone and computer have magnets in them that draw me to them. I can resist the pull for short periods, but to get those extended breaks it helps when nature makes it so technology can’t find me.