Being Connected 24/7?

As the whole world is becoming more and more connected, we all feel the pressure to “keep up.” I feel as if we are rushing up a road, sure that there is something better ahead. But once in a while I find myself asking, “Where are we going?”

I admit that all of the technical devices I have welcomed into my life have enhanced my productivity, opened up ways to communicate with others, and provided me with endless hours of entertainment. But sometimes I look back to the days when my nightly routine didn’t include plugging in multiple devices to recharge for the next day.

The students of today are faced with a world where they feel pressure to be connected 24/7. It has been documented that many teenagers sleep with their cell phones so they won’t miss that middle-of-the-night text or tweet. Their phones vibrate in their pockets during class, urging them to respond immediately. The teenage psyche craves connection with its peers, a constant need to know who is doing what with whom. by making this 24/7 connection with others possible are we missing out on the ability to connect with something or someone else?

How important are the connections we make with ourselves? Personally, I find great value and satisfaction in time spent alone. Whether that time is spent listening to music, meditating, cooking, gardening, or, let’s admit it, napping, that time “recharges” my “batteries.” Are we teaching kids the importance of this time? Are we modeling it or setting aside scheduled time for them to experience it. Am I just feeling this way because I am over 50 and a break from the world is a welcome relief once in a while? I’m really wondering what others think about this.

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Categories: Health, Personal, Technology | Tags: | 1 Comment

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One thought on “Being Connected 24/7?

  1. Kerry Blum

    Introverts may actually have an easier time than extroverts maintaining personal “downtime” away from technology. I think it’s important to keep in mind the old saying, “Don’t throw out the baby with the bathwater”. By that I mean that we need to emphasize the increasing role technology will play in the workplace, in education etc., but at the same time we should hold onto what is valuable away from technology. If we always have earbuds in, cell phones on the ready, computers / IPads turned on, we are actually depriving ourselves of a connection with the real (not virtual) world. We can choose when, where, why, and how we want to use technology to stay “in the loop” with new programs, new ways of connecting with people, new methods of doing research, and new ways of teaching. Making a “balanced diet” available to our students, our friends, and ourselves is the way to go!

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