The Sanity of Decision
“My husband is a programmer; I have no idea what that means.”

We’re Never Alone

# posted @ Fri, 07 May 2010 04:01:05 +0800 in Uncategorized , 937 readers

It’s 6:00 am; the kids just woke up. As they eat their cereal, I’m leaning up against the kitchen bar, iPhone in hand, checking Twitter updates from last night and catching up on email. It’s 9:00 am, and the kids have found a way to amuse themselves without me. This will last about 20 minutes. So I dig my iPhone out of my pocket and check back in with Twitter, read a couple more emails, and maybe check the weather. It’s 10:30 and the kids are having a snack. I have to check my email again, because there’s a little red indicator on mail.app, warning me that I have UNREAD email. I’m on the toilet and I have nothing else to do with my hands (or brain) so I take out my iPhone, even just for the 20 seconds it will take to pee. I’m outside with the kids, and my phone buzzes, indicating that I’ve got more email. While I’ve got it open, I might as well check in with Twitter again. And hit my favorite sites. And read some news.

Now it’s 3:46 pm. All three of my kids are napping. This has only ever happened once before. What do I do? Naturally, I open up my laptop, work a little, catch up on emails, check Twitter, read some blogs.

There’s a problem. And I suspect I’m not the only one that has it. And I didn’t notice it until 3:47 today. Sitting in chair, laptop on lap, mind occupied with internet trash until the wind picked up, blew through my open windows, and directed my attention outward. I look out the windows, and there’s a stunning blue sky, dotted sparsely with delicate white clouds. The trees are swaying with the wind. I get lost for a moment in thought as I stare outside.

I can’t remember the last time I just sat, without a device in hand, and just looked around me, contentedly. I’m always filling up my free moments with internet. And these incredibly sexy devices, like my iPhone and my Macbook Pro make that really easy to do. Am I afraid of silence? Is that why I always reach to technology to fill the void? What is in that silence that could be so frightening? The conspiracy theorist in me starts to wonder if the “thought police” got together and decided to offer us shiny pieces of tech in order to keep us from thinking too much. Then my, “Renae you’re a psycho” pipes in and I realize that I’ve really just done this to myself.

I’m never truly alone anymore. There are people with me all day long, via these devices I love. As a teenager, I usually spent 30 minutes to an hour every day after school, lying on my bed and just staring at my ceiling. Thoughts would roll in and roll out. I would process everything that happened that day, and get excited about things, or sometimes feel sad about things. But either way, I always looked forward to that time of the day, when nothing would distract me from myself.

These days, I seem to be avoiding that time, and I’m not really sure why. Checking Twitter and email all day long don’t really bring me any added happiness. In fact, checking only 2-3 times a day would suffice, but the iPhone is always on me, and my laptop is so mobile… so why not check all the time? What else is there to do? Nothing at all, and I’m starting to realize that might be healthier.

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