What should technology rookies do when Silicon Valley calls for simplicity?
A New York Times’ Bits blog post examined how the tech elite are looking for ways to blunt the narcotic effect of technology on their everyday lives. For those looking for respite, first steps can include leaving smartphones plugged into the wall when running quick errands or opting for last decade’s ever-so-bullied flip phone to bypass the temptation altogether—anything to garner some distance from the digital noise.
The story features Robin Sloan, an author who used to teach social media tools to new outlets at Twitter and an online strategist for Current TV. Now he’s pulling away from the core of his work experience—wanting to disconnect from hyperconnectivity.
In a quest for productivity, Sloan abandoned his iPhone for an old Nokia phone. He takes notes on paper and gets lost in his own thoughts rather than in the constant flow of his Twitter stream.
And it’s not just him. Other techies are feeling the need to pull away, too. They stack their phones in the middle of the dinner table to add consequence to the urge—the first to look at their phone foots the bill. They drive until they lose cell service, or they make their bedrooms a No Tech Zone.
Some people praised these strategies; others said it’s more about willpower than setting rules.
Here are a few sentiments:
- “The best feature of my iPhone is the ‘Do Not Disturb’ switch, which I set to ‘on’ at 8:30 each night. My colleagues often forget we’re not ‘saving lives’.”
- “I have a Nokia phone and have to constantly fend off derisive questions from colleagues and friends about how boring I am. Use the tool, don’t become one.”
- “People should learn to use their devices politely and responsibly. All it requires is a little willpower.”
- “The ‘Tech Elites’ most likely can make the decision to disconnect because they have employees who are required to be connected and available in their stead, 24/7.”
Are you open to disconnecting? Do you think it’s about setting rules, having willpower or is it a privilege that some of us can’t afford? How can we forge a healthy cyber relationship when tech addiction is raging?
We work with many clients in the tech industry and we’ve seen firsthand that it’s not always gadgets that they want– sometimes they opt for more personal, tactile pieces. Whatever it is, we can find it.
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