Commentary

Staying connected while disconnected

  • by , March 12, 2007

I knew I would do it. Don’t get me wrong – I tried to avoid it. I thought to myself: why do I need it? What’s the advantage over just leaving it at home? But I knew I would inevitably endure a week of torture if I didn’t. So I caved.

I’m talking about my laptop, of course. The very laptop I’m using the write this entry. The very laptop that, all things considered, should have been left at home during my week’s vacation. But I couldn’t do it.

During my work with the university, I was talking with a few fellow students, and how they rely on technology. I talked to one, in particular, who said he had seriously considered just leaving his laptop at home when he left for Myrtle beach for a couple of days to get away.

But he couldn’t.

He knew that being away from his e-mail – away from the internet – away from everything would ultimately cause more stress than it would just bringing the damn thing along. So he did.

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I asked him what his peers thought of it. Surely, a short five years ago, people would criticize my friend for bringing his laptop. Or his cell phone. Anything that would distract him from enjoying a vacation.

When I asked, he responded that not only do people expect him to bring it along, but whenever he’s checking his e-mail, others ask to use it as well.

Turns out, my friend and I aren’t alone when it comes to suffering the pains of being disconnected from the world around us through the Internet.

So this is why I brought my laptop. I knew it would be too much of a burden to track down a computer with the coveted high-speed access that might as well run through my veins at this point.

Don’t misunderstand; I will still enjoy the hell out of my vacation. In fact, I’m writing this while sitting in the newest Starbucks in my former hometown in southwest Florida. And tomorrow, when I go to the beach, my laptop will probably accompany me. (They have wi-fi at the beach now. Are you surprised?)

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