Connecting by Disconnecting
I have an unfortunate confession to make. For the last several years of my life I have lived inside of a trap. Day in and day out my loyal iPhone 5 has rested beside me and has alerted me anytime someone calls or texts, anytime someone posts a status on Facebook, a photo on Instagram or even changes their job title on LinkedIn. That's not to mention the minor pang of anxiety that accompanies the dull buzz of an e-mail. What's worse than the anxiety that comes with my phone is that which comes without it. Anytime I realize that I have become separated from this critical lifeline, I feel a seemingly unavoidable sense of panic until I am reunited.
I could spend an entire day surrounded with friends and family and realize that I had barely noticed them. I often would pay more attention to Facebook than to the faces of real people in front of me. The only way for me to capture a memory was to snap a photo on Instagram.
I have decided that this is no way to live.
I spent the last couple of days of 2013 wondering what I might want to change in the new year and could not seem to think of anything of substance. Even though I am 9 days late, I have decided that this year, my main goal is to connect with those around me. Now I could issue some broad proclamation that I pledge to give up technology entirely, but that seems impractical and extreme. My goal is not to deprive myself of the modern world, but rather to achieve greater balance in my life.
This year I want to be more present and devote my attention primarily to whatever is in front of me. I want to free myself from the anxiety that comes with the need to feel constantly connected to my iPhone. And so I apologize to you in advance for all of your texts, calls and e-mails that I do not instantly respond to, for all of your cute photos and funny statuses that I do not immediately like; this year I will get back to you, but I pledge to take my time.
Here's to a happy and healthy 2014!