Jenna Wortham, a writer for the New York Times recently related a personal story that caused her to become unnerved, but also provided insight into her relationship with her cellphone. She and a friend had planned a lazy day hanging out at the nearby public pool. Soon after they arrived they noticed a sign that said no cellphones were allowed in the pool area. Wortham wrote, “The ban threw me into a tailspin. I lingered by the locker where I had stashed my phone, wondering what messages, photos, and updates I might already be missing.”  To her credit, she decided to stay at the pool, and after a period of time her anxiety diminished.  In fact, as the afternoon progressed she actually began relaxing, and realized that the time spent with her friend was enjoyable… no texts or calls to divert her attention.  “My revelation – relearning the beauty of living in the moment, devoid of any digital link – may seem silly to people who are less attached to their devices.  But for many people, smartphones and social networks have become lifelines – appendages that they are rarely without.  As such, they can sway our mood, decisions and feelings.”

Realistically, many people need to be near their cellphones most of the time.  Whether it’s work or family-related, living the digital life has become a necessity for nearly everyone.  Yet, Wortham points out  that when she realized that turning off her smartphone also turned off the tension it seemed like a good reminder for all of us to try to find ways to live in the moment with the person or persons we are with – and maybe when we are alone as well……The New York Times    8/26/12


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