Life is meant to be simple and easy. That was the thought for the day on my Louise Hay calendar yesterday. It's humans who complicate things and now we have high speed 24/7 wired connections to take that to new levels.
It wasn't supposed to be like this. The promise was that technology was going to help to make life simpler and easier. That was what our engineer at the radio station I worked at in Washington, DC said when he set up my first personal desk computer in my office in 1994. We didn't have an IT department then. We had an engineer, the same one who made sure the radio station stayed on the air, also in charge of getting us all wired.
And yes, while there is information access and interconnectivity I would not want to let go of today, my diet research is substantiating that things are out of control. Last night I caught a man waiting outside the men's room door in Marea, with his thumbs feverishly working that Blackberry. He claimed there was a line, but really, when is there ever a line for the men's room and not the ladies room? I think he was hiding from his dinner companions and didn't want them to know they were not captivating him enough to disengage from his flood of email. Later that evening I had a friend call me fifteen minutes after he sent me a text, wondering why I had not responded. I explained that in trying to not check email I had hidden my phone from myself.
Yes, it is time to gain some control over all of this intrusion.
I am rather proud of my discipline. The email continues to be the most challenging, so I've reframed the experience. I look forward to the 4x a day I check it like a kid on Christmas morning, certain of some of the presents under the tree but eagerly anticipating a few new surprises.
I've stopped eating breakfast in front of the computer. I hadn't realized I was browsing cyberspace and chewing in front of my 21.4 inch monitor until I couldn't browse. So for a really creative twist, I've gone back to eating at my dining room table where there's a window with a view that does not require a mouse. What a concept!
The newspapers continue to enthrall me with new information. Stuart Elliott's column in The New York Times writes of a company that wants to intrude more on my dwindling quiet time with television advertisements in the supermarket right next to the products. I've been worrying about what is going to happen to our thumbs with all this texting and smartphone emailing, but in San Francisco they are worried about the radiation rate and are creating new laws that will require cellphone makers to list it.
I've also learned that Dawn dish detergent is being used to help clean oiled slicked pelicans. One bottle of Dawn for each bucket of water and three buckets of water to wash a single pelican! A mattress can cost as much as $33,000, the Shinnecock Indian Nation on Long Island has finally been officially recognized ( I hadn't realized they weren't), a star Ballerina was mugged in my neighborhood (It was really hard not to turn on NY1 for more details on that one!) and a new show called Hot in Cleveland premiered on TV Land to a good review in the Times. I was surprised to read Alan S. Blinder's Opinion piece in the WSJ (recommended reading). I didn't think the Journal allowed anyone saying something positive about our government's economic rescue efforts.
So I am gaining control. Not quite halfway done this experiment I know for sure that disconnecting completely is impossible. We are all too far into being electronically wired to each other for that to happen. And as one who embraces technology and social networking I don't want to. But there has to be a balance. If this has become our new addiction, then like food addictions and sex addictions we cannot eliminate them completely from our lives, but we have to discipline ourselves.