• Ryan M. Pierson

Should You Be Connected to the Web Around the Clock?

Shoukat Dharani, a member of the LockerGnome community, asks:

Can you please tell us how many hours a day you are using computer, or any other gadget to stay connected to the Web?

My day begins with an email check on my iPhone before I even get out of bed. I may check FlipBoard on my iPad for story ideas and inspiration. Once I’ve risen, I walk into the kitchen and make a pitcher of iced tea before heading to my home office to begin cranking out content like this article you’re reading now. Once I’m done, I head to the living room and watch an episode of whatever show it is my wife is most interested in at the moment. All the while, I’m still clicking away on my laptop and iPad. We may head out to dinner where I’m checking my iPhone every few minutes for emails from work and/or friends. It isn’t until I take my glasses off and close my eyes that I’m truly free of my connection.

This begs a greater question of whether or not someone should stay connected at every waking moment of every day. Being connected at all times certainly has its advantages, but it’s important to disconnect once in a while and relax your mind from the constant influx of data that comes with a connection.

If your phone is like mine, it’s constantly buzzing and making noises as various social networks alert me to messages, email comes in, and breaking news happens somewhere in the world. This constant barrage of information does little to help the mind wind down and allow you the time you need to collect your thoughts. People are texting and checking their Facebook page during dinner, as they’re walking from place to place, and even while driving.

It’s easy to become involved in all the activities occurring online. Someone you know is posting something that you may be interested in seeing, but is it worth the hours spent each day reading each and every message you come across? Does the information you receive have a positive return on investment in the long-term?

In my opinion, everyone should take some time each day (or at least each week) to turn off their phones, walk away from their computers, and experience real life. At the very least, it’ll give you something to blog about when you get back to the computer.

Everyone can benefit from escaping from reality now and then, but at what point does the tool we use to escape become the reality from which we need liberation?

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©2020 by Ryan Matthew Pierson.