I resisted getting a cell phone for a long time. In fact, I never really proactively got a cell phone. My father, the Engineer, works for a telecommunications company, and this just baffled him. And because I often drove the distance between St. Louis and Nashville alone, at night, it also made him nervous, so I got a phone, and he added me to his family plan.
As is the case for many people, I began as something of a technology contrarian, but my resolve has steadily eroded. I now work for an international organization, and a good chunk of the human interaction I engage in most days is via email or conference call. But I have held my ground about some things. I refuse to in any way attach my cell phone to my body. I recently uninstalled an IM application from my office computer in silent protest, but I don’t know that I’ll be able to get away with that for long. In all truth, the technologies that enable us to stay connected to one another have been Godsends in a lot of ways. But I also feel the pressing importance of drawing a personal line in the sand.
A post at Soul Shelter outlines some great values when it comes to using cell phones: looking at the world and not the phone, spending “in-person minutes” with people, willingly disconnecting.
My additions are: take real vacations and real time off, recognize when technology is enabling me to connect with someone and experience the world vs subtracting from those aims, insist, sometimes, on only doing one thing at a time.