Friday, May 14, 2010

It's okay to disconnect once in a while

Sometimes I feel like I'm swimming in information overload. Articles and news stories and blogs and status updates and daily reminders.....the list goes on. I sign into Yahoo; "What Keeps Men Happy In Relationships", "Sky's Color May Have Changed" (I laughed at that title alone), "Controversy of a Teen Sailor", "Eleven Budgeting Mistakes", "What Not to Do In Facebook", "Best and Worse Frozen Foods".....Scroll through facebook/twitter to see what people "Like", where they are, what they've eaten, what they're mad about, what they hate, what they love, the weather in their city, what team they're rooting for, and what hilarious video's are out there in cyberspace. I follow a few blogs and actually get upset with myself when I get behind in the reading of them, they're not going anywhere but it's almost like a need I have to keep up, or a courtesy to my friend to keep myself in the know of their thoughts. I've said before, "If they're going to take the time to write it, I'm going to take the time to read it".
But isn't it okay to disconnect for a while?
I just got back from Oahu. Eight glorious days of beautiful, aqua painted ocean, so much fresh pineapple I didn't know what to do with it, catamarin rides with views of spinner dolphins leaping out of the water, long beach walks, luaus, the smell of plumeria at every turn, hawaiian music wafting through the stores, friends sitting in three's playing the Ukelele on a Sunday afternoon in the shade, quality time spent with some of my favorite people in the world, laughing until we cried (seriously), laid back attire (I love my sarong), infinity pools, "island" hair (ahem, its a little humid over there) but don't get me wrong. I. LOVED.IT.
I had no idea what was going on in world news. I turned twitter off on my phone. I updated facebook five times while I was away, once from Maui, but turned all notifications off other than my own. I just.....disconnected.
I've been thinking about that since I've been home, how freeing it felt. I'm not saying I don't want to know what's going on the world, of course I do. You already know I love twitter, I don't believe I can use the word "love" for facebook what with all of this privacy setting change taking place right now. I don't understand the whole "forcing the social connection even more" facebook is doing, it's like they're getting paid if I become friends with four hundred people rather than two hundred. There are certian things I like to be able to control regarding what I'm doing when I'm in facebook, not really caring for the fact that they've taken away my right to do so in a lot of ways. So mouse does hover over that deactivate button at times. But, to be fair, I do update facebook at least once a day, usually. Just keeping it real, I don't want to be a hypocrite and say I hate it, I just don't like some of the changes they're making. But if they ever ask me to PAY to use it? Not doing it.
I said to a friend today, "what did we ever do before social media?" A few years ago I remember saying "what did we ever do before cell phones, and texting?"
What DID we do? Read more books? Not for me, I read every day and have for as long as I can remember. Get outside and enjoy the fresh air more? That probably is true for some. Spend more time having real, face to face conversations? I think so. Technology has brought us a long way, and I think that's really cool. I love having the text option, especially if I need to say something but I don't have time to talk. But that makes me wonder. Before we had this option, we either made time for the verbal conversation, or waited until there was time for it, or it didn't happen at all.
I met with friends recently who I hadn't seen since I got back from Hawaii. I remember noticing, and I include myself in this, that everyone had their cell phone either in their hand or on the table right next to them so they were aware at all times of any incoming texts, calls, or social media activity. I thought, so this is what we've come to. I wonder what would happen if I said out loud, okay everybody, phones off. Would they be able to do it? Would "I" be able to do it? I just don't know! I know my friends would say, "are you kidding, your cell phone is like an extra limb, you would die". =)

So I'm home, back to work, and totally connected again.

But I hear that tide coming in.....and see the moon hovering over the water, feel the soft breeze and smell the fresh smells. I think I may disconnect a little more often now. Be sure to do that when you need to as well.

They serve rice with their eggs at breakfast on the island, we'll have that this morning too at Tiffany's, it's quite tasty.

See you soon,


Sara said...

That is a beautiful picture! I definitely think one should disconnect, and often! I find cell phones more of a distraction usually, taking one away from being in the moment. Like at your table of friends, say one's phone rings or they get a text, I really don't think they should answer it right then, when around a table of friends, it takes them away from the moment right then. Of course its good for emergencies, I need it so Jared can call me when he gets home from school or for Jeremy to tell me if he can pick up the kids, but just to know right then that my friend is just "loving this weather!" - not so much...I enjoy FB, love to see people's pictures, but once a day is usually enough for me and rarely on weekends when I'm home with the kids (there's no time anyway). To make a long story short ("too late!" - Clue), I get what you are saying and I think its GOOD to disconnect sometimes! "What am I supposed to do without my CELLLL phone???" lol

Tiffany said...

You said it sister. (Clue -too late! made me lol) I try to be careful with social etiquette regarding the texting, I mean seriously, it's rude to have dinner with someone and text rather than talk to who you're with. Just sayin.

Doug Moore said...

I'm one of those that doesn't have to have that cell phone handy all the time. For me, it never rings anyway. And the one person I want to talk to, well, I live with her, and I'm loving every moment we spend together. I am hooked on facebook a little more than I would like at times, but I can walk away from it too, if I need to. It is good to disconnect now and then, and it's something I may look at doing as well, as long as my disconnect includes my princess. And BTW, I have to say thank you to you. I've been thinking of places for a honeymoon, and after your trip to Hawaii, I think that just might be our destination. What better place to celebrate our love than paradise.

Tiffany said...

ahhh I love it!!! Go to Hawaii Doug, you will not be disappointed. I'm still dreaming up ways to make a solid living over there so I can move permanently =)

Serenity said...

Some weeks I live so much on the computer that when I get out to an actual event with people, I feel like I'm walking to the car after roller skating for three hours. Wait a minute, these shoes don't have wheels!

You can't press Hide if they're boring you. You can't just hit the X and walk away. AND YOU CAN'T EDIT YOUR WORDS! It's horrible.

Actually, I much prefer it and always feel way more alive after these experiences than online ones. So, yea, though I always close my laptop like an addict dramatically walking away from a drug, I think every day should have several unplugged moments.

Tiffany said...

That is an excellent description of what it feels like to walk away from cyberspace. I'm finding that need for disconnect more now than I ever have. I think I have island fever! =)

Daniel James said...

I saw two people sitting at a nice, dark, quiet table in a restaurant the other day. Both of them were yakking away on mobile phones. I wondered... what the hell is the point?

Tiffany said...

Exactly. I saw a couple having dinner last week, not looking at each other, barely talking, and I don't even think they noticed. Being comfortable in one anothers silence is one thing, but it was almost like they weren't sharing a meal together at all. The cell phone thing is just rudeness, plain and simple, I think anyway.

verl said...

Nicely done Tiffany! May 9th-15th, I removed myself from cell phone usage, twitter & fb. What made it easy for me was I was on a cruise & I had t-mobile for my cell svc,NO SIGNAL!I refuse to sign up for web svc on the cruise & trusted that the world could live w/out me & I w/out it! I survived & it was wonderful. Now that I'm back I don't use these as I often as I did before the cruise! I've realized there's sooo much beauty around us, that we need to slow down,simply slow down & embrace our surroundings! Thanks for the affirmation:-)!Love it!

Tiffany said...

oh Verl you're just one of the smartest people I've ever known. Plain and simple. =)