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February 2015



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~ 2 min read

Even though I’m a member of Generation Y, I will cling to non-smartphones until they become obsolete. But my cell phone is automatically encompassed in my daily routine.
Has a day gone by where I haven’t composed a text message? Not really. And the Internet is an integral part of my life, an undeniable dependency for work, recreation or contact.
“The Internet buzzes in the background of my life, comforting —  always there to entertain me, to feed me information, to connect me to my grid of friends and family and to writers I follow,” Lisa Shanahan wrote in her personal narrative about an ‘unplugged’ vacation with her husband. “It percolates my day like a high tech coffee pot, brewing a stimulant that smells good, that tastes good  –  a companion that I need, like a cup of coffee. I could live without coffee, but it would suck.”

I recently spent a weekend away, deciding to go ‘off the grid.’ Now, it wasn’t nearly as dramatic as that sounds because I was based in New York City and not the wilderness, but I did abstain from phone and Internet usage. And you know what? I felt rejuvenated.
My senses were heightened, my mind was clear, and my attention was solely focused on the moment. I ogled at the shops on Bleecker Street — cheese, records, books. I absorbed the quirky scene in Washington Square. I focused on the modern art in a museum. I breathed in the beautiful colors of sunsets and the wintry scene in Central Park. I savored the company of who I was with, without checking my phone every so often.
An article on Psych Central discusses how excessive use of technology can affect cognitive development. When one becomes accustomed to habitual entertainment, attention deficit issues may surface.

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