The Importance of Doing Nothing

It is only by disconnecting from others that we are able to find ourselves.

While this statement might not actually ring true for everybody all the time (I’m only tenuously certain of my own belief in it), I know that even as a forward-thinking, future-tech-loving person, I get the urge to live in the moment from time to time and unplug from my social life. Granted, this happens most often when I’m sitting at home and relaxing with my fiancé, but every time I do it, I find it extremely rewarding.

You could make the argument (and many important people have) that we are too focused on always being available, and that this is a symptom of our modern society and the technological revolution that the internet has been. Let me lay out for you now a different idea…

In this decade, it is actually easier (or at least as easy) to disconnect as it ever has been. With technology, we are keeping in closer touch with people across the world than ever, but we also lose touch with those in closest proximity to us (like our neighbours).

However, with the increase in dependence on technology, we have also made it much easier to disconnect ourselves from the world, because many of our methods of communication don’t require immediate response. The excuse “I forgot/didn’t look at my phone” not only seems reasonable but somehow completely socially acceptable (though a few important exceptions spring to mind).

For me, it can be something as simple as leaving my phone upstairs. This eliminates my need to answer phone calls and texts (people who know me well already know that I’m much more likely to answer them if they use Hangouts or iMessage/ FaceTime or Facebook Messenger than SMS or a phone call), and I can go an entire evening without checking messages and not have to stress that I might have missed something.

I am definitely going to keep doing this, and trying to focus on using whatever electronics I do have nearby to their maximum potential, not needing to be surrounded in gadgets. More importantly, though, I am working on staying close to those people who are most important to me, and being conscious to unplug and minimize electronic distractions every once in a while.

Best of luck doing whatever you need to to find a balance between your digital and real life.

On the Bleeding Edge

So after a little over a year, I finally got the newest version of the News Feed on Facebook, and it’s not even the beautiful design they unveiled in March of 2013! I spent all that time wanting to use and test this updated design, and I was relegated to sitting back and watching as others who had no idea what was going on were surprised and confused by this new look and feel of the Facebook experience.

I was one of the ones who actually went to Facebook to sign up for the new features within an hour of it being announced, and yet I was never fortunate enough to actually get to use it. For better or for worse, I enjoy getting the chance to try out and use new things. Even when they don’t exactly work the way you’d want, I really like getting the chance to try things out and break them to see how they work and what you can do with them.

I have also signed up to be one of the first people to get new Google features (“signing up” is really just checking a box), but so far I have yet to get a chance to really be one of the very first people to take advantage of a new set of features long before anybody else.

Basically the only thing(s) I really get to try early are iOS updates, and I love and cherish that opportunity. As a registered Apple developer (or at least as someone who has paid to get their device IDs enrolled in the program), I can and do install new versions of software on my phones and tablets before they are publically released, and it’s the most fun you can possibly imagine (for me).

All in all, I just wish it were possible to get the attention of software and hardware companies, to let them know that there are a select few of us out here who are really itching to get our hands on this stuff as soon as they make it. If you read this, and you’re in charge of deciding who gets new things rolled out to them, sign me up!!