Sunday, July 13, 2014

The Need to Disconnect

When someone asks for my cell phone number and I tell them I don’t have a cell phone, they almost always look at me as if I have two heads. It’s inconceivable to them that, in this day and age, a person would choose not to have a cell phone. Every time this happens, I’m smiling because, to me, it’s inconceivable that anyone would choose to be “on call” all of the time. I know. I know. You can always turn it off. But, how many people do?

This desire, this need, to be connected all of the time baffles me because that’s the last thing I want. Please don't misunderstand; I enjoy being around people and talking to my friends but I prefer to be where I am with the people who are there. If someone wants to contact me, they can reach me at home when I'm home or leave a message on my voice-mail if I'm not and I'll get back to them. Most of the time, it’s not all that urgent. If it would be a matter of life or death, since I'm not God, I probably couldn’t do anything about it anyway.

Several years ago, I went on vacation with a friend who was constantly either making or taking a call on her cell phone. First of all, I thought it was extremely rude but, more than anything, I felt sorry for her. She lacked the ability to disconnect, to leave problems and idle gossip behind and enjoy her time away from work and family obligations. And she wondered why she was always stressed and frazzled.

So much of our time is spent taking care of responsibilities (job, children, elderly parents, etc.) and dealing with reality that I think it’s important – make that crucial – to take time out to escape. Of course, we’re all different. Some people need more time to themselves than others but I think everyone needs to disconnect sometimes. To have uninterrupted time to themselves. I'm not talking about watching TV, listening to music or even reading a book. I'm talking about time to daydream. Time to recharge their batteries. Time to just be. Quiet time without anyone around and definitely without the sound of a phone announcing that someone is calling or texting.

Do you take the time to have “alone” time or do you prefer to be “connected” to other people all or most of the time? Just wondering.