Sunday, June 06, 2010

Cutting the cord

I went to Bette's yesterday afternoon, ended up going alone because Tom's golf ran long (SHOCKING) but it's fine. I really wanted them to meet but there will be other opportunities, unless of course golf is involved. ANYWAY, I went to Bette's house for about an hour and 40 minutes. In the first half hour or so, I had my phone on vibrate and every few moments it would buzz. She asked what it was and I told her about text messaging. She was fascinated by it, as I was when I first discovered it about 7 or 8 years ago. So I explained to her that it's a way of communicating just like email but it comes through to your phone and shows up on your screen. She asked, "Why do you need that?" At first I thought oh well it's really important if you're running late or have to ask someone a question or just want to tell them something you might forget later. And then I realized ok 90% of my texts are never because of those things. They are mostly random statements about random things and are definitely not mission critical. "I'm wearing flip flops!" or "Wow Chumley just took the biggest dump!" is not going to change anyone's life. So Bette and I and went back to talking and sharing and again the buzz buzz buzzing kept going. I silenced my phone because it was distracting and annoying and for the next hour and 10 minutes I never checked it once. We bid our goodbyes and when I got in the car I had 34 new messages and had a message stating my text messages are full which means I need to delete some before others can be received. Sitting in Bette's driveway I'm trying to respond to the messages as fast as I can which began the vicious cycle of deleting, responding, new message! and again responding, deleting, new message! I could feel my heart start to race as I tried to keep up for a good 20 minutes before I realized how ridiculous this whole thing was and how since moving here I have become so attached to this stupid thing. I thought about Bette's question again regarding texting, "Why do you need that?" And right then and there was my answer, "I don't." A good portion of my life is tied to technology and sometimes it feels like running inside a hamster wheel. I deleted the rest of the messages and gave this more thought on other aspects of my life. Then I did something I have never done before and drove to a little Bed & Breakfast about a mile or so from my house and checked in, alone. I shut off my phone and literally disconnected from the world to just sit and think and not distract myself from the nonsense noise that I helped to create. The good news is, this is within my control and recognizing that made me feel lighter. I sat in the rocker with a glass of wine and did nothing but think and write out my thoughts with ZERO distractions for the rest of the day. And what came out was pretty fascinating. Tom came and joined me for a glass but then went back home because we both felt strongly this was something I needed to do for a while now. I continued to write alone in my little room and felt at peace.

I realized a lot about how I live my life during this little getaway and the one change I am going to make right now is to break away from the ties of technology. I've never been one who enjoys talking on the phone but I understand it's important and will allow for that when necessary. But I don't need texting. No one needs to be connected 24/7. Not to say I don't enjoy feeling close to friends and family, especially those far away, but somehow I survived 30 years without it and I want to live that way again. I'm home now and am actually enjoying time with Tom and the animals and never once felt the compulsion to dial in to technology. Well, I guess except for blogging about this right now, but really, it feels good - like a weight has been lifted from my shoulders.

Or maybe that's from the hour massage but hey, either way I'll take it!


Anonymous said...

What a great thing to do! Maybe you should make a once a week or twice a month arrangement with them.

We old ladies don't "get" the texting thing at all. I barely have a cell phone (pay-as-you-go)and mine has been gone for awhile.

I'm a gadget junkie, so I know I'd get hooked if I had a fancier one--old lady or not!

I'm happy to hear that Bette was able to go back to her own home after that terrible injury.

Take care--I'm sending you warm and sunny thoughts.


Gina said...

that sounds like a really nice day, to do something spontaneous & relaxing.

you must have alot of friends to have over 30 texts in an hour! hehe

writing quietly is something i haven't done in a while and i think now is as good a time to start as every right? :)

Smileygirl said...

Yes, go write quietly, shut the world off because it's amazing to see what comes out when there are no everyday distractions. And even lock the cats out too!

And I was texting to only a handful of people when I got all those texts. But I have a group of about 10-15 friends that I regularly text with and after that little epiphany I just realized I can't keep doing that. I don't even feel the need to look at my phone because when I used to get texts I would feel like I have to respond right away and that's just stupid.

YKW, if you can figure out facebook you could definitely get texting! But if it's more of a don't get texting because it serves no purpose rather than a technical challenge than yes, don't bother with it!

karen gerstenberger said...

This is how I feel about facebook. I only txt with a few people, but fb is a real time-waster for me (though it's fun).

I'm so grateful that you had this peaceful time alone to let your thoughts gather themselves together, and to hear you own inner truth. It's always there, but the outside noises can drown it out, especially the technological ones! I hope you will consider doing it as often as you need it. And a massage is one of the best stress relievers that I know! GOOD FOR YOU!