This has been a strange week for me. It's Wednesday, and I feel like I'm catching up on the all the stuff I've been neglecting at work for the past few weeks, BUT I have officially disengaged from lots of the technology in my life. This is a pretty monumental change for me.
I've carried a Blackberry for almost 7 years - back when it was a big, ugly contraption all the way to today when it's a cute little red thing. It was a job requirement at my last firm, no choice about it. You had to be accessible all the time to clients, which in turn meant very little "down time." When I started my own practice about a year ago, I got one of my own that I paid for. This past week I decided it was time for a change.
The problem isn't the blackberry, or email or facebook. The problem is with me. I cannot seem to disengage from work. When someone emails me or calls at 10pm, I feel the need to at least look at what has been said or written. I can't stop myself from looking, trying to help and ultimately getting myself worked up about whatever the email or voicemail says.
So, I ditched my blackberry over the weekend and disconnected from Facebook for the most part. And I can't say I'm too sad about it. At all. It's nice to not feel as if I'm bombarded by messages I don't want to deal with at home at all hours of the day and night. I think I'm going to like this new phase in my life.
The facebook decision also hasn't been very difficult, but emanated from something different than the need to get away from work. I was on the phone with an old friend recently, and about halfway through the conversation I welled up with tears. It was so *good* to hear her voice. I could feel the love and concern in her words and her inflections. It was then that I decided I needed a break from the "email/texting" way of life. While email is a wonderful, powerful tool, it also dehumanizes us over time. Rather than call someone up or go to visit them, we email. It's faster. We can multitask at the same time. It's easier and more efficient. But at the base level, we miss something in that form of communication. We miss tone, inflection, tears, anger, indignation. All the emotions that we might feel or the other might feel are missing and lost in translation. So, I've started to avoid email too. I've been picking up the phone as opposed to dropping a quick line of email. I really believe these changes will alter the course of my life in some ways.
And so I'm happy to be disengaged.