I live and breathe the technology world on an almost daily basis. As a marketing professional my days are spent in Word press, Google analytics, Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. If not there, some other computer application or email. I also work for a technology company. We are the gear heads that make all those things work (and then some). So needless to say it is hard to escape.
On my last vacation a few weeks ago I resolved to take a break. For an entire week the iPhone was getting turned off. No email, no Facebook, no texting, nada! I made sure to tell those around me so they didn’t think something bad had happened when I “fell off the face of the planet.”
What I noticed at first was that in my down time I was looking for my phone to check in and pass time. It was as if I had forgotten how to relax, be still and just be in the moment. I eventually got over it. More than that I found that I was able to actually see and experience what I, and many others, probably miss on a daily basis because our heads are stuck in a downward position in our smart phones. There so many sights and sounds to be witnessed and unbelievable comedy in people watching.
While waiting for a table one evening on the streets of San Francisco I was entertained by mid-riff baring man as he cleaned the windows of the neighboring shop. He put on a great show dancing, spraying, wiping and making gestures to the unsuspecting soon-to-be diners also waiting for a table. So many people walked by texting and missed the whole thing. Shameful.
It isn’t just there, on vacation. It is at home too. How many times are you out to eat and the first thing someone does is pop the phone on the table next to the plate? How about the family dinner dynamic these days? Dad’s checking emails, mom is gossiping on the phone, son is playing Angry Birds and daughter is updating her Facebook status. The TV wasn’t even allowed on during dinner when I was growing up.
Now I am truly thankful for the advancement of technology and what it has done to make life easier, but I also hope the rate at which we are disengaging from old school communication slows. I will forever be a fan of a solid handshake, eye contact, a hug, a kiss and a spirited verbal conversation. Going forward, every vacation will be a technology free vacation. You can see the pictures on Facebook after I get home.
* Sorry this has nothing to do with food, but the thoughts evolved over several meals while enjoying my technology detox.