To Connect or Not To Connect -That is the Question
I'll be the first to admit it. Something happened to me the day I got an iPhone. A transforming experience occurred when I went from the dumbest of dumb phones to my smarty-pants phone.
All of a sudden, I was connected; I could navigate, listen to music, be entertained, social-network, do business-like things, make a phone call, text messages, check my email, check my email and oh, did I mention, I could check my email? Ad infinitum. Endlessly. Day and night to my heart’s content. But then, something happened.
A few weeks ago, I came across the book, Hamlet’s Blackberry: A Practical Philosophy for Building a Good Life in the Digital Age by William Powers. It was serendipitous, no doubt, that I should be drawn to reading a book about the perils of being ultra-connected and how the digital space and our collective screens are sucking us up like a humongous, industrial-strength Hoover.
Reading Powers' book that first evening felt as if the author himself was reading the pages aloud, and he himself was telling me to “Step away from the smartphone, step away from the laptop, and for pete’s sake, girl, give it a rest.”
I was about fifty pages into the book on an exceptionally hot muggy evening here on the east coast of the U.S., reading outside in a zero-gravity lounge chair (with my feet pointed west, if you want to know my geo-orientation), my smartphone comfortably nearby.
I had come home earlier to discover that the electricity was out in our neighborhood since everyone had probably tried cranking up their air conditioners in the same millisecond. I was immediately captivated by Hamlet’s Blackberry, and with the author coming clean about how obsessed he had become with his multiple screens and how, for that matter, his whole family had, too. He writes about the “Internet Sabbath” they started several years ago, the turning off of all devices on Friday nights and how they don’t plug back in until Monday morning. Good grief, until Monday morning!Continued on the next page