JLev: Unplugged

July 1, 2011

UnpluggedFor those who know me well, you may know that one of my nicknames in JLev. Those who call me that do it with affection. Hence, my blog post title. The unplugged part has to do with the fact that I am getting ready for my first vacation in over a year where I will be sans internet. Gasp!

Over the last few weeks I have found myself forgetting things, making mistakes and being slightly more flaky than usual. Keeping this in mind, I booked myself on a vacation where I knew that internet access would be difficult (always available, but ridiculously expensive). I booked a trip where I can stare out at the ocean, read a few trashy romance novels and recharge my batteries. If we are being really honest, I only booked a five day trip because the thought of being offline any longer made me anxious. Sad, but true.

On my trip I will bring my iPad, and may do some writing so I won’t be completely without technology or work, but I won’t have the constant distraction of emails, Facebook notifications and my compulsive desire to check in on the Twitterverse. Oh and don’t forget that we now have Google + to answer to.

This leads me to the question: Are we too connected? Have we become wired to reach for our smartphones before our eyes are open in the morning or are we lured there my peer pressure? How many social networks are too many? How many location-based marketing tools are needed to provide the information and convenience that we need? Do I need to worry that my Klout score will drop during my sabbatical? Was it REALLY necessary to celebrate Social Media Day, a new holiday from the minds over at Mashable, one of the main resources for all things social media.

Yesterday I saw a flurry of desperate pleas for invitation to Google +, which if you haven’t heard of it yet, is Google latest attempt to take on Facebook. Sure, Google knows how to create a buzz and I was one of the many geeks who wanted in on day one. However, it really made me stop and think about our obsession? with being “on” all of the time.

As you can see, this post doesn’t really have any answers, just questions.  For me, I am wondering what the threshold is for technology making our lives easier or becoming a slave to it.

I think I will ponder these questions over a nice cold beverage that has an umbrella in it.  I wish all of my U.S. friend a wonderful July 4th, a happy Canada Day to my Canadian friends and a great summer weekend to everyone else. Unless you live in the Southern Hemisphere, in which case I will enjoy the sunshine for you.