If you asked my friends whether I'm easily reachable through technology, they would definitely answer with a resounding "Not even close!".
I know it's weird, especially for someone who blogs, is an active twitterer and Facebook user. But I've noticed this natural trend in the past two years to disconnect.
The realization that perhaps this was more than just a passing trend occurred to me tonight: when the thought "I should check my gmail" caused twinges of anxiety and annoyance.
Although I've embraced technology (I am JUST at the cusp of the generation that has grown up with computers, video games and such), I've always been a stickler for "non tech time". Immediately when we got our iphones my pet peeve was being accessible, with the EXPECTATION that I would be RIGHT THERE to text back every minute of the day. I quickly informed all my friends that during work hours, I was at work- so my personal cell was on vibrate.
Often though I would forget to turn my phone back on sound when I got home. To be fair, if it's an emergency they should call and leave a message. Or text Andrew. (How many times do I get the "tell your wife to check her phone" text...:S). It drives me crazy to here text after text after text- even if the other person might not necessarily expect an immediate answer- the pressure is there to check "just in case". Which annoys the hell outta me.
I have a very important (to me) no cell phone in the bed rule. I leave my phone downstairs to be charged over night. If someone texts me while I'm getting ready for bed or sleeping, ah well. They should know better than texting someone past 10pm. Seriously. Our bedroom is moving towards a "no technology zone". I never want a tv in our bedroom and the laptop and ipad stay downstairs. I just have to wean Andrew off bringing his iphone upstairs (he hides it from me when he checks his twitter feed before getting out of bed in the morning...).
The bedroom is for sleeping and connecting couple time. There is enough research out there that strongly indicates that having technology (tv, ipad, iphone, laptop) in the bedroom is sleep disrupting and stress inducing. My sleep is precious, no messing with that!
Finally, email. I dread dread dread checking my gmail accounts. I'm attached to my email for work all day- I definitely do not feel like responding or considering issues via email while at home. So I just don't check them. For weeks. Which makes the process of checking my email even more stressful.
With smart phones we are increasingly tied to our technology- and it's harder and harder to disconnect. However, I firmly believe that this disconnect from in real life interaction is an important aspect to our disconnect with our natural world, the decrease in motivation for environmental personal action and our increasing everyday stress levels.
I am taking back my right to turn off my iphone, to saying "no" to being available every minute of every day and that this still makes me fantastically fun and not a luddite.
Leave your iphone charging on the counter and experience life 100%, instead of through moments between checking your twitter account or through the lens of your iphoto.