Before you disconnect from technology, consider this.

written by john c ashworth

Over the weekend, I read the article you see below about flip phones making a comeback.  I read it on my iPad after coming across the article on my iPhone.

The article below that one, I read a few weeks back.  That one talks about your right to disconnect from technology.  A story about New York actually having to give it’s citizens the actual right to disconnect.  Silly.

The idea seems a little silly to me, because I don’t need to be told I have the right to disconnect.  The right to ignore your emails, your skype messages , and your text messages.  The right to ban facebook for good.  The right to ignore all those reminders my phone allows me to set.  Much in the same way I used to screen all my calls on the answering machine.  Yes, I had a special little machine that had a little tiny tape that kept track of all those who were willing to hang around on the other line and wait for that little beep, which told them it was now their turn to leave me a message, and that I would get back to them as soon as I could.  Of course, even then people were impatient.  My closest friends screaming into the tape, “John!  Pickup!  Screener!”  I was good at ignoring this stuff even before it plagued us like it does today.

In reading the two articles you see below and a few more not worth sharing I thought about two things.  About how important it is to disconnect from technology when you need to.  About how this is a personal choice.  About ALL the choices YOU have to connect with your technology in ways that are both productive and healthy.  Not stupid.

The other thing I thought about was how silly it is to see so many people so addicted to their smartphones.  Walking around, all over town, like brainwashed zombies.  I can’t even go to the pool now at the gym without at least a few people glued to their phones while they sit poolside and even in the hot tub.  One guy yesterday speaking at the top of his voice, on his smart phone inside the hot tub.  He’s lucky I didn’t dunk him.

I have in fact fantasied about starting a campaign  where I ‘mistakenly’ bump in to people, causing them to drop their phone in the water, and then possibly contemplate their meek and pathetic existence in a world where people aren’t quite smart enough to manage their presence in a more productive manner.  Because before you go latching on to this idea that you are going to disconnect from technology, I want you to remember something important.

People hated their flip phones for a reason.  They hated their mp3 players too.  They sucked.  This is what spurred the design team at Apple to make the first iPod and iPhone.  Those old devices were terrible.  YOU have CHOICES every minute of every day about how you are going to interact with YOUR technology.  This idea is NEVER more poignant than when I hear about how annoyed and distracted people get by all of the notifications coming through their smartphones 24/7.  Because with a few simple taps, or a hammer, you can STOP all YOUR notifications, and START accessing them when it makes sense to do so.  Instead of allowing them to bombard you all day like armageddon.

Kind of like that old answering machine with the blinking red light that would taunt me.  All I had to to was ignore it.  Turn it off.  Unplug it.  Eventually, it was gone for good.

Yes!  You can do the same today.  I encourage you to do so as much as you need.  But I highly encourage you not to give all of this technology up for good either, because their is a ton of good you can do with it.  Disconnecting from technology is a good story that grabs attention.   Technology, however, is NOT going away.  Disconnect.  Then get back to work.  The world needs you to be more productive.


Flip phones are back: Less distracting and a lot cheaper than a smartphone | Fox News

The flip phone is having a mini-resurgence as consumers seek less distraction. Call it a rejection of the smartphone with its bombardment of messaging and social media that sap your attention. Or maybe it’s just a return to the cell phone’s roots, when a phone was just a phone.“This year’s hottest cultural trend is none other than the humble flip phone,” wrote The Outline this week.While new flip phones aren’t going to overtake sales of the iPhone anytime soon, there’s an appeal to an ultra-cheap no-frills phone.

Source: Flip phones are back: Less distracting and a lot cheaper than a smartphone | Fox News

The Right to Discoonect – The New York Times

Now that almost everyone is easily reachable at all hours, it’s normal to tap out emails long after dinner or read Slack messages while brushing your teeth. Try as you may, once that phone buzzes, it’s nearly impossible to shake the pressure to respond. But if a bill introduced this week in the City Council passes, New Yorkers could freely pull the plug on off-the-clock communications.

Source: New York Today: The Right to Disconnect – The New York Times



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