Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Going Unplugged

So, this morning, as I was driving into work in a caffeine hyped state, honing in on my to do list for work, home, and what in the eff my workout was supposed to be today.  I'm traveling to "Owego" for work tomorrow (ahh the desolate farm lands that I get sent to for glamour trips).  I have a deadline for contracts today.  I have 3 meeting scheduled from 11am-2pm, which pretty much ensures that I'll work through my lunch hour. 
And then my cell phone rang.  I ignored it.  It rang again, 10 minutes later.  Once again, I ignored it.  I pulled into my parking space, ran into work, cursing the traffic that made me 5 minutes late.  I made coffee.  Checked my phone.  2 voicemails and a text.  And then I opened my Outlook work email.  An email from the same caller, "where are you?"  Yikes. 
On a matter of principle, I checked my work voicemails, rest of my work emails, settled into my day, and called the person back (it was personal, nothing work related).
Yesterday, I had an 8:30 meeting.  I cleared it that I was going to be in my office by 9:30.  This one was work related.  I got 2 missed calls at work, 3 emails, and a voicemail on my cell from one person looking for me.  When they couldn't find me, they called my assistant.
WHAT?  This is not a rant.  I had a good laugh with both impatient individuals, and it's all good now.  But it got me to thinking.  About our crazy society, where we can email, text, call (office or mobile), tweet, skype...and what else am I missing?
Who do you know that doesn't own a cell phone?  Or have an email address?  How bout Facebook?  (I know a few of these, but most people I know online stalk through Facebook, myself included).
Now, here's the kicker.  Remember, back in the day (wow, am I old or what?) when you went on vacation and NO ONE could get ahold of you?  Cause, ya know, you didn't have a cell phone, just a home phone.  And you had email, but no laptop, so you were...unplugged.  And the world survived.
When the hubs and I travelled to Maine earlier this month, we tried to unplug.  It didn't work.  Sometimes, life intervenes, and you deal.
When I prep for a long race, I try to unplug the day before.  Sometimes it works.
And ideally, on Sundays, we turn our phones off and I don't blog.  We get away with it once in awhile, get alot of crap for it on a routine basis.
So...I ask....when did it become so expected that you are available 24/7?  When I fall off the radar for an hour, people freak out.  When someone calls you on your cell and you don't answer, it's not the same reaction as when someone used to leave a voicemail on your handy dandy answering machine (remember those?).  Back then, it was simply assumed you weren't home when someone called.
Now, it's anarchy when you aren't available! 
And with the hustle bustle of our daily life, it seems as if with all this's not more convenient.  It's a hassle.  You end up feeling stressed out that people are expecting you to be in touch all of the time.  And somehow, with all of this "connection", people seem to be...less connected.
We had a long discussion about this at a work meeting yesterday.  Our CEO suggested that we work more toward in person communications rather than adding to email communications.
I also heard a segment on the radio this morning about "unplugging" and how you need to let people know in advance that you are unplugged so they don't think you're dead :-P
Have we really come to that?  Yikes!
So true
I sort of feel like an anomoly here, but I am a big fan of using my cell phone similar to a home phone.  I will turn it off when I need a break.  I will turn it off on vacation.  I will keep it on silent and ignore it at work and also when I am at the store, etc.  The cashier checking me out doesn't need to be subject to my phone call that can't wait 10 minutes.
I also like to just get away from it every once in awhile.  Get off facebook and twitter.  Take a day off from blogging.  Turn the phones off.
And go for a nice long run :-) 
And on that note, I'm working on the run unplug as well!  I strap into technology way too much during my runs...garmin, stopwatch, and mp3 player.  With the fall colors and weather so beautiful, it's time to remember why I love the serenity of a run.  I thought about trail running during the spring, but my foot said NO, so I DNSed my first race...the mendon mauler, a 12 mile trail race.
Well, I've got my fire again.  November 3rd.  Mendon Ponds.  20k Mendon trail race, in the prime of fall beauty.  I thought about the 50k, but that's even silly for me, no?
So, let's bring it.  More beauty.  Less technology.  And less stress.
What do you think? Do you have trouble unplugging?  From yourself or from the world around you?  Tell me I'm not alone here!


  1. ummm why is Owego in quotation marks? that is 30 mins from where I grew up!

    1. I just think its a funny to owego! I'm an idiot. Pretty town, though!!