It’s something that has been mentioned a couple of times before by many people, but it’s still an important point, and in 2012, just as relevant as it has been before.
Or rather, the lack thereof.
When was the last time you were truly bored?
In this day and age, in the smartphone era, we’re always connected. People actually prefer to have their emails pushed instantaneously to their phone, rather than waiting a few minutes for that email to come in. We have this “streaming” technology on Twitter that means we’re not just taking a sip from the stream, but taking a water cannon in the face.
Technology means we have Kindles for reading, Nintendos for gaming, and iPhones for pretty much anything else. It’s crazy to think we live in a world where fast, free Wi-Fi is almost ubiquitous, and mobile networks more so again.
Don’t get me wrong, I love technology. It connects people in ways we never imagined, and means any number of friends and other humans are always just a short few taps away. And hey, it even does an admirable job of keeping people like yours truly awake in lectures.
Think about it: when was the last time you went without staring at some array of pixels for some amount of time? If you’re not looking at your computer, you’re looking at your phone. Or playing with your iPad. Using a digital camera. And so on, and so forth.
The question then becomes: where and when do we draw that line in the sand and say: “hey, I just need a moment to myself.” A little alone time, time away from Twitter, time away from Facebook, time to just sit, think, and contemplate the meaning of life, the universe, and everything?
Not even thinking about anything in particular. Just the chance to have a little down time every now and again. The chance to get offline.
I don’t drive, so as a result I do my fair share of public transport. I used to enjoy doing a little bit of writing on the bus, and I still do, but increasingly I’m finding that I just put my in-ears in, start playing some great music, and tune out. Tune out is the best way to describe it, because you don’t have to think about anything.
It’s very nice.
Because as much as I enjoy technology in every aspect you can imagine, I think it’s supremely important to get away from it all for a while. You can’t be always switched on, all the time; it gets tiring pretty quickly, and I dare say you’ll suffer from burn out sooner rather than later.
So stop reading your RSS feeds for a weekend. Stop feeling like you have to check Facebook religiously. Stop succumbing to the pleasures of the Internet and just disconnect.
Enjoy the serenity, while you still can.