Shackled to Screens

Just realized that I can't remember the last time I went a day without interacting with electronics - no phone, no laptop, no TV, no tablet. Doing so not only seems impractical, but also strangely unsafe. What if I miss an emergency phone call or don't respond to an email in time to avert a crisis?

But how often do those urgent things happen? And humans survived before phones and the Internet. So why does the thought of being without my phone for one day stress me out? Oh no, I might miss the fact that someone favorited one of my tweets. The world, she is ending.

Maybe it has to do with the fact that my family and collaborators are sprawled out across the country, so I have to use my phone or laptop to communicate with them. Maybe it's because I'm never really "off" of work or school because there's a loose expectation that I'll always be checking my email. I also admit that I get a rush from at least feeling like I always know what's going on in the world and in my personal network. I've even stumbled upon unique opportunities and connections just due to my constant, timely communication.

But I take Advil every morning for my constant headaches, sleep poorly because I wake up 2+ times a night to check my email (just in case), and I have a complicated relationship with caffeine and junk food. And I don't think my experience is unique.

It also occurs to me that I get indescribable pleasure from activities that in no way involve screens - running outside, writing by hand, coffee chats withEliza and Travis, reading a physical book.

So I think we should all take a day away from the machines. Just one day. It's actually pretty nice outside.

On the road to Leavenworth, WA

Copyright Alexandra Lucas 2015

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