Disconnecting to Connect
Posted on June 8, 2012
Let’s make technology work for us the way that it’s meant to
Texting, BBMing, tweeting, Facebook, YouTube endless amounts of Apps, and technology in general surrounds us. I love technology. Technology is here to help us stay connected and informed. My friends with smart phones always have information at their fingertips be it the number of the restaurant we want to order from or the forecast for the rest of the day while we’re driving. The problem becomes when we forget that technology works for us instead of the other way around. When we sit for hours on Facebook looking at pictures or spend all day on YouTube watching adorable kittens (I am guilty of having done both), we lose sight of the point of the site. YouTube is definitely for our entertainment and Facebook is wonderful for keeping in touch with everyone in our lives, but like everything, moderation is key. When our technology fails to keep us connected, or disconnects us in the process of being connected with others, it’s really doing us a disservice.
Enter the Disconnect to Connect campaign! Last October, the Disconnect to Connect campaign launched one day, October 2nd, 2011, to disconnect from your cell phone and lap top for at least 1 hour. While I didn’t find out about the campaign until afterwards, I love that the initiative has been taken to at least open our eyes to what using technology can sometimes become. Trying to have fun with friends who go out to dinner and all pull out their phones can be a bit disheartening. The video from the campaign is a powerful one and is super-well done! There are moments when a child is being pushed in the shopping cart at the supermarket or on the swings outside and the child is literally invisible to the parent who is on their phone. When the technology goes away, the child becomes present.
I’ve felt this way many times in my life when I myself have texted…like I’ve lost touch with reality for a time being. I think it’s time we all get more connected and take time to turn off our phones even for only an hour once a year. The beauty of Shabbat is that it comes every week and we get 25 hours to connect with our families, friends, selves, and Creator. I absolutely love turning off my phone and shutting down my laptop at the end of the week. There’s a feeling of peace knowing that you can only be reached by those literally around you and that you can connect with those who are away, Saturday night. Sometimes, instead of turning my phone on immediately after Shabbat I’ll purposely keep my phone off for another 30 minutes or so just to hold on to the feeling of peace that the technology-turning-off aspect of Shabbat provides me with.
Today is Friday! Shabbat is well on its way and by the end of today our phones and laptops will be unplugged leaving our hearts, minds, and souls, to be plugged in to the things that technology meant to help us out with in the first place-staying connected. Let’s all enjoy this beautiful gift of Shabbat and connect with the people and values that bring us closer to joy and happiness. Have a wonderful shabbat filled with peace, mindfulness, and serenity. Shabbat shalom u’mevorach! <3