Late Friday morning I posted on Facebook that I was unplugging and heading out on a three day adventure into Walla Walla wine country. I left my laptop behind and just had my phone – voice and text – no internet.
I was going to keep things simple, not get all wrapped up in the trappings of technology, and just go. Granted I printed out maps from Google and information from other websites… but I was not connected. Right?
Oh… so wrong.
- Hopped into the car and there was the GPS system… so much for the maps.
- My companion hadn’t looked at an email from a friend about places to eat and wineries to visit… so checked that out on his iPhone.
- Needed to choose a place to dinner so read reviews on Yelp!
- I had left my PC but he had his Mac – so we had a night in and watched a movie courtesy of iTunes.
- Any time we wanted music we had the Mac or the iPhone…not to mention the satellite radio in the car.
I wasn’t really expecting us to give up technology. It bleeds into our life and infiltrates all parts of it without us noticing. What I wanted to feel was that we were getting away from the general obligations and patterns of our daily lives. We didn’t succeed 100% but we got really close.
As we went from winery to winery we always asked where we should go next – relying on actual word of mouth rather than the virtual kind. It was a delightful mode of decision making that took us from palatial tasting rooms to garages. Yes – some of the best wines we tasted were out of a garage.
But everywhere we went the signs were there – computers, cameras, phones, netbooks.
We are a connected world and I’m not sure that we will ever be able to unplug.
At the same time – we have to learn how to let things go. There were things to check on – business and family – but we didn’t obsess over it. Sometimes the phones went away and we didn’t even think about them – keeping the obsessive checking of email and text messages to a minimum.
The secret – that many of us are still learning – is that these are tools. We run them, they don’t run us.