Saturday, October 6, 2012

blessed disconnect

It doesn't matter; I am not better than you or judging you or writing this out of some kind of amish-y folksy wisdom . .. but being away last weekend made me think again about this subject that I seem to be fixated on, and that I want to blog about it . ..

I don't have a smart phone, and I have no intention of getting one anytime soon.

why I love my non-smart phone
Of course the added expense is the most practical reason we have stuck with our very basic phone plan.  But there is more to it than that.

For one, being fully present in the small world of young children is already difficult, now internet Sirens call to us continually.  This challenge to be present, I believe, is what will define our generation as parents.

I am also easily distracted, a dreamer, tempted already to float above reality, and the internet obviously feeds that. I have no doubt there are people with greater self-control than me who can use their smart phones only for what they need, and then put them away.  But I don't trust myself.

For now my computer stays upstairs on my desk, away from the normal traffic of our home, so that I must make an effort to run up and check my email or whatever, and not get sucked in.

But more than that, I like being out of reach occasionally.

When we were away last weekend I realized again the gift of being fully present, disconnected from anything that is not in-the-flesh.  It re-sets me, I regain consciousness of the present moment, the beautiful mundane.  I have time to think about life through an uncluttered lens, and the world of the internet becomes less urgent, put back in its proper place.  When we visit my parents' their internet is so slow that I don't even bother checking email, and by the time we come home I no longer want to.

I like being able to say, Sorry, we were out of town so I didn't get your message.  I don't want to be responsible to receive and respond to information at every moment of every day.

It takes me a few days to re-enter.  I enjoy the quiet slowness of life, regaining attention to quieter things.  For a while after we come home I have no interest in what is happening on any blog or facebook, and when I do begin again to peek into those spaces, it is with a firm grasp on things real and present.

Wrestling with this balance is, of course, my own issue, which is why I don't give a second thought to anyone else's media choices.  But the weekend was a refreshing reminder of why I will continue to be regularly, fully, blessedly, disconnected.


Brandee Shafer said...

I use my laptop too much while I'm in the house. I leave my cell phone (which is actually a pretty nice one, an Android) in the minivan. I don't know why, but I just can't allow myself to become tethered to it.

Fijufic said...

I like being off the grid too. My smartphone has been the source of all kinds of stress.

We are digital immigrants. Your children are digital natives...

It is the way of the future and the world.You are wise.