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its been proven that technology has created a gaping difference between my brain and the brains of – let’s say – my grandma and my children. we’re plugged in non-stop. iphones, internet, gaming systems, tivo… we’re never not connected to something. and its not just some, its most of us.

experts have observed that our addiction to instant gratification and a swirling pot of connectivity have replaced our quiet time, our creative time and our real relationships.

when i find myself without ‘something’ to do… i check my email or facebook. i waste precious minutes of my life scrolling through the latest updates and deleting inbox spam searching for some tiny morsel of entertainment, interest, news or attention.

and, i’m pretty darn average.

if i added up the minutes i spent online, i bet i could easily get in that daily 30 minutes of physical activity i’ve been complaining about missing.
or whip up a batch of banana muffins.
or stitch on those few buttons on my favourite fall coat.

it’s unrealistic for me to set the goal of completely and forever unplugging from the rest of the webworld. after all, i like it. i like peeking in on my friends and loved ones. i like being able to access music, games, fun and oodles of information – fact and fiction. i have a job that requires me to be online and connected, use social media and be able to understand how the minds of others work online … i do my banking – and some shopping online.

but now and then, i unplug.
and it feels good.

you see, occasionally, being connected stresses me out.

there is so much information. so many images.
i feel the need to compete.
say something witty. compelling. interesting. poignant.
people appear to be having more fun than me.
and sometimes, when i look at other people’s pictures, i feel … well …

less attractive.
lonely.
unpopular.

that’s not true, of course.  but, it can feel that way.

my 17 year old daughter says facebook can be dangerous for girls who have self-esteem issues. it is attention seeking behavior. a quick hit of ‘that feels good’. someone comments on your profile picture, and you are high for about 37 seconds … until you look around and begin comparing yourself to someone else …

it’s good to unplug now and then.

listen to music.
meet a friend for coffee.
(when was the last time you went to the library?)
have a bubble bath.
play the piano
draw, colour or write poetry.
walk to the park.
(or shovel the sidewalk, depending on the season, and where you live)

the point is: there is an internet world and then there is the real world.
you live in the real world. the one with smells, and things to touch.
the world with cool places to go. and interesting people to meet… in person…
the one where meaningful conversations happen and laughter rings in your ears.

part of taking care of yourself is scheduling a break away from that world to live in – and create – your own.

your own. real. world.

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