For many who connect daily online via blogs, twitter, the new Google + and more we know the value of these online connections. The online connections empower us to learn, to work, to grow to connect with others. At best with online connections we also have the opportunity to enrich the lives of others, to empower them.
In fact we may find that the value of online connections is recreated daily. The ‘always on’ characteristic of the internet can beckon us to explore and connect in new ways everyday.
I recently returned from a vacation where I ‘unplugged’ almost entirely. No computer. Little cell phone access. Spotty email connectivity. To get email, I had to go to the main lobby ( a bit out of the way) and connect to the hotel wifi. Though I did this at least once daily, I stayed largely unconnected. In addition, the group I traveled with left our phones off for the most part. We were a bit surprised to find that we didn’t miss them at all. We did not have trouble meeting up for meals or walks on the beach. We managed to communicate easily without calling and texting with our cell phones.
What struck me also was that we did not see people walking around looking at their phones, talking on the phone or peeking at cell phones during face to face conversation. Cell phone use has become constant so that was something to note.
I did bring my digital camera (Canon S95) and had my Iphone camera handy too. I was able to capture some beautiful photos such as the one shown above. I look forward to sharing photos online.
Did I long to read twitter stream, TechCrunch, and more? Did I wonder what I was missing? Just a bit. It would all be there when we returned. There is a time for that just as there is a time to ‘sit unplugged’ and renew, re-energize and re-connect in meaningful ways.
In short though, unplugging for a short time was wonderful. Sitting unplugged for me allowed more time for seeing the sun set, enjoying time with others, praying and reflecting on the many blessings in my life and taking photos to record memories.
There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven (Ecclesiastes 3:1).