What are you doing right now?

Today is the day! Today I challenge you, yes, you to unplug your life! Do you even remember how we lived our lives before technology? How did we communicate with colleagues, friends, parents, relatives and people whom we spoke with very little at some point in our lives and thought we would never, ever talk to again? How did we entertain ourselves, learn about the world around us or get from one destination to another? How did we learn to cook or buy goods? How did we survive when we didn't know what everyone we'd ever met and known did every minute of every day?

Frankly, it's a mystery to me and to almost everybody else. We must have tech-nesia because it seems we are totally unable to complete anything in our life without the aid of a tech-tool. The old-timers used to say that TV would be the end of civilization and was certainly to blame for ADHD. Compared to ipods and Blackberrys, facebook and Twitter, TV is equivalent to sitting around knitting in candlelight. A Gameboy is the ball and cup game and a Discman is the 8 track. An MTV music video (when they play one) is epic in length in the age of tweets, status updates and text messages.

I am to blame. I have IM'd Andy when he is sitting across the room from me. I could reach out and touch him but instead I write a message to him on his facebook page. I e-mail colleagues who are a wall away from me instead of getting up to talk to them face-to-face. I post PowerPoint presentations online instead of holding a workshop. I blindly place all of my faith in mapquest rather than pick up a map and try to figure out directions. Or, even worse, I listen to some lady on the TomTom bark play-by-play moves without even knowing which way to turn without her guidance. I write this blog instead of picking up the phone or writing you a letter to say, "Hey-this is what's going on with me this week. What about you? Is this happening to you, too?"

So, today is the day! After you are done reading this blog move your cursor to the little box in the upper-right-hand corner of the page and click on the box with an "X" in it. Then, click on all of the "X"s on all of the pages you have open-mapquest, weather.com, cnn.com, tweet deck, AIM, ebay and facebook. All of them. Write a nice out-of-office message that indicates that you are out of the office and you WILL NOT have access to email while you are gone and you WILL NOT be checking your messages periodically and you WILL not be checking voice mail. And then turn off the monitor or shut the laptop. Then, turn off your cell phone or Blackberry or iphone. Leave your ipod behind. And yes, turn off the TV.

Walk outside. Smile at the sunshine or clouds. Feel the wind on your skin. See what is around you whether it is concrete or grass or cars or mountains. See it for what it really is beause it is all that is important to you at this very moment. Acknowledge and say hello to the person walking by you. Find a friend, someone you really want to see and talk to her. Tell her how you are doing in MORE than 140 characters, ask her how she is and LISTEN to her more-than-140 character response. Have coffee or tea or a glass of wine. Go shopping. Read a paper. Write a postcard and send it. Ride a bike or go for a walk. Laugh. Have fun. Unplug. Take some photos of your activities. You can post them on FB via mobile upload on your way back to your car.


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