A recent holiday I took felt like a real holiday. We’d left all gadgets behind- smart phones, computers, and all other pain in the rear devices that keep you connected with the world at large, at all times. Aside of a tablet for our girls to watch their films on, we were completely disconnected from the daily happenings of our extended circle of family and friends. Guess what? Didn’t miss it one bit. This was one of the best holidays we’d had in a long,long time. We explored, we walked, we talked, we ‘connected’ with one another in a way that had become impossible with the invasion of these devices. We absorbed all that was around us, without the need to narrate a blow by blow account of it online. We actually took in the beauty and magnificence of Nature without being compelled to Instagram it alongside.
Why has our online living overtaken the real world living? Why do we feel it necessary to record all events for posterity without being ‘in’ the moment at all? Is it because we want to show the world how exciting our lives are, how much more we have travelled, how many more experiences we have had? To induce a bit of the green eyed monster? Yet, ironically, bypassing those very experiences while chronicling them?
As a family, our rule is that one meal of the day is together, at the table, gadget less. I hope that the conversations we have, the laughs we share are the memories that the girls take with them as they grow up, go to University, get jobs, move away, get married etc.
In the meantime, I am trying to enforce a gadget watershed hour too. Come 9pm, switch off, unplug, and enjoy a nice glass of wine, a bath, a book maybe? Our hours on this planet are limited. Let’s not spend them tied to a virtual master.