Simplify Your Tech Life

photo4Did you happen to read the weekend Wall Street Journal article, “Simplify your Tech Life, Thoreau-Style?”  It basically outlined the challenges yet the rewards for taking refuge from the constant barrage of technology.  I loved it!  In total transparency, I too am plugged in almost constantly at work, on my iphone, or my iPad.  I get it, we don’t want to miss anything or we want to stay on top of deleting the incessant flow of spam or unnecessary messages.  Thoreau saw inventions “as improved means to an unimproved end”.  In some respects, he has a point and my experience last week caused me to reflect on it.  I am a tradition junkie.  I love them and think they enrich the memories of our lives.  So last week, my neighbor and great friend Katie and I loaded up the car with our two sons and headed for our third annual two day, one night adventure in Hocking Hills State Park in Ohio.  Having grown up spending a lot of time in Colorado, I was not planning on being anywhere near as impressed as I was when we first hiked Old Man’s Cave on our first trip.  The landscape, the views, the rock formations and the rolling topography are gorgeous!  One of the best features of the area is virtually no cell phone coverage.  As a working woman and a mom being unreachable is scary unless…. you know it ahead of time, then I must admit it is liberating.  Everyone knew where I was and that I would be back in two days.  Guess what?  I didn’t look at my phone or anticipate the bing of a new text message.  Instead, I focused on my son and friends and lived completely in the moment which included flying Super Man style on a super zip-line!  I loved it!

Sometimes all it takes is that short window of time to realize that we can “silence” the noise of technology even when we are fully connected.  Just like any other sense when we silence one we strengthen others.  I am not advocating living in a cabin in the woods like Thoreau but I am committed to living fully in the world around me and with the people around me eyeball to eyeball.  Technology is a tool to be used to sharpen, strengthen and build when necessary but so are conversations, face to face meetings and handwritten notes.  It is a blessing to add tools to our tool box but it is a talent to know when to use which ones for maximum results.  Think before you reach in your tool box the next time and determine not what is easiest but rather which will yield the best results.

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