Monday, August 04, 2008

Is My Techno-Life Making Me Crazy(-er)?

In case you haven't heard, Roy is on vacation. He's blogging us the day-to-day update, complete with photos and mishaps -- starting with the flat tire on Day #1. ClinkShrink is also on vacation. In fact, her vacation was inspired by Roy's photos from his vacation last year. Greetings to all from Baltimore where the remaining co-blogger.... remains.

Okay, so last week I had a 36 hour getaway to the beach where I was hosted by my good friend the Judge-in-Curlers. My three hour drive was punctuated by a text photo that ClinkShrink sent to my phone of her car packed for vacation (bikes on the back), and a lengthy discussion with my shrink friend, Camel. As I arrived at my destination, my cell phone battery died. Dead. Completely dead. Oh, and "bring phone charger" (I have three, plus one for the car that doesn't work) was the last thing on my packing list, and the one thing I forgot. Ugh! I felt anxious inside, borrowed a Blackberry to check my voicemail and call home, and I figured my first trip out in the morning would be to get a 4th charger.

The morning came and it was a lovely beach day. Breakfast, a walk on the boardwalk, and I suddenly realized I felt so much better with a dead phone. And no email access. This is what was meant by Zen. Whatever that means.... I checked my messages periodically with the borrowed Blackberry and reminded myself that no patient had ever called from a bridge ledge only to say they would have jumped had it not been for my brilliant and immediate intervention.

A break from technology-- I think it was a good thing. I often think it makes it hard for us ever to fully relax when the urge is there to glance at the phone, make sure there are no messages, hit the "inbox" button.

Okay, I confess, "I don't have a phone" was my first thought when I was rear-ended on the return trip (no injuries, no dents), but I came home vowing to take it easier on the technology. We'll see.

And just so you know, I've set Roy's new 3g iPhone so that it barks when I call.


Anonymous said...

All these electronic devices can reduce the quality of life. The more connected to technology a person is, the greater the risk. The high school students I teach want a cellphone in one hand and an iPod in the other. They text nonstop if allowed, even to somebody 4 feet away!

Being 57 I did not grow up with cell phones, text messages, and email. I LIKE not carrying a cell phone though I own one. I'd rather speak with humans than type. I'll go now & have a conversation.

The Girl said...

I love going on holidays to those mountain-side destinations that still don't have mobile phone access, newspapers or televisions. It is SO relaxing!
Personally, not watching the news/accessing internet news brings my stress levels a LOT lower, which is interesting because very few things on the news every affect me directly, but they must cause a bit of worry.

I hope you had a great break. :D

Anonymous said...

I once went to a wellnness retreat for a week. No phones, televisons, newspapers or computers. After the initial anxiety subsided, it was utter bliss to be free of my obsessive reliance on technology. Time took on a diferent dimension -slow, meandering and to be savoured.

shraddha said...

I agree.
I myself need a technology holiday.