ANDREW SULLIVAN HAS AN ARTICLE IN THIS WEEK'S NEW YORK MAGAZINE that scared me. He went to a Meditation Camp or Tech Addiction Camp or whatever you want to call it. This is the second article I've read on this in two days---ironically, of course, as I was addicted to the internet and my phone. The retreat lasts a week, and all phones and devices are collected as you check in.
People panic at the beginning. Their anxieties run rampant. How's the dog? What's on TMZ? What am I missing? During the week people walk through forests. They read books you can hold. They actually talk to each other and look each other in the eyes.
At one point, Sullivan just started sobbing. All the feelings he could deflect by texting an emoji had no place to go. His therapist there told him that sobbing was normal and that it would abate.
Yesterday, I found myself watching TV, reading my ipad, and picking up the iphone to email images on it to make sure it was on all platforms. I had a very strong dizzy spell and had to grab my forehead. My eyes and brain were fried. I did it to myself. It was VERY scary.
I'm sick of people talking loudly on their phones in office waiting rooms I'm sick of trying to avoid getting bumped by idiots texting and reading while walking on a public sidewalk. And, don't even get me started about phones and driving. I can't change anyone else, but I can change myself.
I'm going to make some changes. The world really will go on if I stay off TMZ for several hours. I was that kid who read the Encyclopedia Brittanica almost every day because I loved information. Access to information is what intrigued me about the internet. But I got sucked in like everybody else.
I'm going to try to check emails and my news sites once in the morning, once in the afternoon and once at night. I mean it. And, I'm going to try no tech after seven at night. I AM very conscious of our beautiful worked outside and I already do take a lot of time to enjoy it. My problem is inside the house. So, as I sit on a golf course writing this to you, I'm going out to play.
A SPECIAL NOTE TO PARENTS: Keep those devices away from your children for as many years as you can. Let them understand what a live human is; what communication is; what feelings are; what a book is.