In this day and age most of us have some sort of technology at our fingertips. Be it mobile phones with Internet access, computers, e-readers, laptops or ipads. And then there is the social media available. Facebook, twitter, You-tube, Goodreads and a host of other platforms for us to indulge in. So what happens when we find ourselves without this technology?
A couple of months ago I spent five days at Eden Health Retreat in the Currumbin Valley near Queensland’s Gold Coast. Eden is known as a place to nurture your mind, body and spirit, away from the hustle and bustle of our busy lives and our reliance on technology. There is no mobile service or Internet and you are encouraged to leave your laptop at home. Now for those who are desperate, there is a landline and computer available at the office. There are also several locations on top of mountains that you just might get your phone to work, but I couldn’t be bothered going to all that trouble.
I decided to embrace the whole experience and it did me wonders. I got right into Qi gong and the many activities and challenges. The food was delicious and of course healthy, but what I liked best was the way everyone spoke and connected with each other.
How often do you take a train or bus and see other passengers’ texting or playing on their phones, or reading from their devices. No one talks anymore. I’m astounded when I go out to dinner with my husband to a nice restaurant and see people sitting opposite each other but not talking. They’re busy on their phones. What happened to the art of conversation? Who are you missing out on meeting because your eyes are glued to a device instead of the world around you?
Having said this, I love where technology has taken us, and the fact it has opened up a huge world for me as a writer. I use social media frequently and the Internet is invaluable for my research. But I think the occasional break is good for the soul and it worries me that future generations may lose the art of face–to-face communication.
It is almost Christmas so I wish everyone a safe and happy holiday with those you love around you. Good food, good wine and good company. Put your phones away and enjoy each other. Smile at a stranger, wish someone a good day and most of all cherish your loved ones. Have a little break from technology.