Domestic Diversions

The price of staying connected to technology

The ABA General Practice-Solo Section shows what might happen when you disconnect from technology–you might just think!

Steve Andersen writes (excerpt):
But are we forgetting what it’s like to take our time and to think, process, and create? To do one thing at a time? To do it well? And to actually enjoy it? Studies show that the frenetic techno-wave to which we’ve been subjected—and to which we eagerly overindulge—is changing the way our brains function. Our attention spans have shortened. Our creativity has diminished. Our patience has thinned. Are we less civil toward each other as a result?
. . . Our reflexes have been so conditioned to respond to myriad electronic stimuli that we jump at any ring, beep, or buzz, like the subject in a contemporary Pavlovian lab experiment.
So I did an experiment of my own. I took a deep breath and left my cell phone home one day. When I got to the office, I turned my desk phone off. I even ignored my messages. I refused to turn on my computer and check e-mail. I unplugged. I disconnected. I waited. . . .
. . . By five o’clock I was relaxed and satisfied with the notion that I’m not really all that important. I hadn’t spoken with anyone, checked any devices, or stared at any screens. And I was more productive than I had been for some time. I knew I’d ease out of my time warp and rejoin the Connected Age—to a degree anyway—but I vowed to downshift and enjoy the privilege of practicing law and the pleasure of living life. On my way out, before turning off the light, I glanced at the old Underwood. Less is more.

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