So much of our professional lives involves digital technology. From our phones to our computers, we rely on instant connectivity. Then, when we relax, we use some of the very same machines to entertain us.
During this month of vacations, I’m reminded of an experiment popular in many media studies classes. Students go a day without accessing any form of media. When it’s over, they write about their experiences. Not surprisingly, some of them can’t even make it to the end of the day without plugging in. But for those who succeed, there are rewards.
When I returned from vacation, it had been a week since I checked e-mail and as long since I read a U.S. newspaper. I found that I had not missed much by skipping my daily blog scans and Facebook messages. At the same time, I became more aware of the place where I was and the world around me.
It’s also humbling to realize that when you’re unplugged, the workplace and the news cycle continue just fine without you.