Everywhere we turn these days there's more and more opportunity to hook in, connect and share - socially, professionally and personally. Hook in, sign up, share and collaborate. These are all the things we all do online every day to keep up with friends, with colleagues, with work and with family. So how do we just disconnect and do we need to?
This is a loaded question from someone like me who spends up to 75% of their waking hours online ... those who know me would likely tell you that I am constantly connected to my devices. I have been a technophile for as long as my kids can remember - I am a bit too old to have grown up with a device in my hand - we had bush cubby houses and pushbikes and trampolines without the safety nets on them, but I love the opportunities that technology can offer us today and into tomorrow. HOWEVER, I am also very aware of the need to just disconnect. I think that is why I love where I live so much. I can walk to the end of my street, and without too much trouble, picture myself in the middle of nowhere - absorbing the light and the colours that the late afternoon or early morning light brings to the rocks, trees and sky around me. It recharges me. If I can't get the recharge I need from the quick stroll down the road, then I know that I can jump in the car and head 'bush'. Within half an hours' drive from home I can be totally out of range! Wide open spaces, clear blue skies and beautiful, spectacular ranges and sunrises and sunsets, abundant water, flora and fauna. I love it! And then I get the urge to capture it ... on my smart phone because I am too lazy to bring the DSLR these days. <sigh> I tried!
I admit it, I find it really hard to leave the house without my phone. The opportunity taking it with me affords me - being able to capture those moments that I can then look back over when I am stuck in the office or the house doing all those other things that need doing, housework, bookwork or study, the ability to just quickly remind myself that I really need to pay that bill when I get home - because Siri can remind me as I drive into the driveway or into my street or as I get to the office, incase I forget between now and then. The flashes of memories on the TV screen from the screensaver I am streaming from my Apple TV with the music I am streaming from my iTunes list ... they are all reminders that there is a beautiful, big backyard out there and there are friends and family, real, tangible people who I love and who love me, and we have fun, outside - trekking through the outback or island hopping on holidays. And that, that is why I am here. To get out there and enjoy life and all it has to offer, to spend time with friends and family and enjoy the down time, but I am fortunate enough that I can offer my pigheaded stubbornness to my clients, and help them get the best out of their technology. It's not going away folks, unless of course you're talking doomsday and bunkers and the like. Nope, technology is here to stay.
I think the greatest challenge for us who are prone to addictive behaviours when it comes to our technology, is to learn to disconnect and recharge ourselves without the tech.
There's so much good in it - but there's the potential for for travesty too, we just need to manage ourselves and in that our technology too. Go forth and disconnect to connect!
Natika describes herself as a tech-tragic. Having been swept up in Apple Mania, this is where she's at her most tragic, but she's been an early adopter of new technologies for years and loves exploring ways to adapt the latest gadgets into everyday life.