“Why do you pet the glowing thing more than you pet me?” says my cat, as I swipe my iPhone. (Seriously, she tells me with her furrowed kitty brow.)
Earlier this month, on the National Day of Unplugging, I spent 5 whole minutes wondering if I could embark on a digital detox. Let me text this to you: “Nope.” As last week’s New Yorker piece “The Pointlessness of Unplugging” argued, “Few who unplug really want to surrender their citizenship in the land of technology; they simply want to travel outside it on temporary visas.”
Because there is obvious benefit to our e-lives — from expedient access to data to the ability to order dinner without ever moving from this chair.
And as Gen-X era women, we find ourselves betwixt and between the analog and the digital: we took a typewriter to college and maybe ended it — or started our first job — with an email account. We mix and match our lives — post-it reminders mingle with our favorite To Do app (mine is the “almost analog” iPhone “notes”).
We try to be self-aware tech and gadget addicts and balance our digital desires with a little lo-fi love: a hand-written note from my nieces or nephew; the Rolling Stones’ Exile on Main Street on a long-playing record (or two); the doodles my husband and I share on a paper napkin at dinner.
Some things are just better unplugged.
- Jenna Briand tells us what’s it’s like to love a Luddite.
- Amy Barr battles her remote.
- Susan Linney digs through her old journals and uncovers truths that still resonate today.
- Bethanne Patrick gives us books to grow and cook our own food.
- Kate Premo shows us how to write a thank you note.
- Piers Marchant suggests 4 films with a low-tech m.o.; and one decidedly digital.
To paraphrase Arianna Huffington on The Daily Show last night, you can have an iPhone, just don’t cuddle with it at night. Oops.