Monday, July 20, 2009


i use facebook. i am consistently on gmail. sometimes i log into aim still. and my cell phone is always with me, although i have a limited number of text messages and i'm not the most reliable at answering or returning calls. i am very connected to the world and it's people. if someone wanted to reach me this second, they could talk to me on facebook chat. they couldn't reach me by phone; it's on silent like it is all night long. i decided a long time ago that there is not a single phone call that is more important than sleep. that thought was reinforced when my missed calls would be from the olive garden at 9am.

all of this is to illustrate a little background before i write about my desire to create a disconnect with the world. my brothers and sister didn't have this extensive amount of communication resources when they were in college in the early 90s. a couple of them went to pitt, so imagining their situation at the same school i went to would blow my mind. they had some email, but no aim or facebook. no cell phones. their main communication resource was the room telephone. which those of us still living in the 1900s know is pretty inconvenient if you're not in your room or house to answer the phone. so yes, maybe we are better off now with the technology we have to use to contact people we want to hang out with and stay in touch with old friends.

on the other hand, we are all bothered by the notorious text messager who sends messages while we're trying to talk to them. or who sends you messages saying "hey" or "what's up". i don't respond to those messages. being connected isn't a bad thing, i just find it hard to figure out what the point of twitter is.

a few friends recently have been using their blackberries a lot and have started to pressure me to get one. well, one friend is really pressuring because she caved once she saw her husband and our other friend using them constantly. but i told her i have absolutely no need to spend money on something like that. which makes me think about how i'd like to disconnect myself from the world. over the years i've had a few close friends who have been impossible to get ahold of. they'd rarely answer their phone or return calls. this would frustrate those of us who do answer and return calls. but after surrounding myself with some more close friends who tend to keep themselves independent and noncommital in the way they live their lives, i have discovered the sense of independence that comes from avoiding communication devices. there is something freeing about leaving your cell phone at home. and there is certainly a sense of accomplishment when you log in to facebook for the first time in days.

i suppose what i'm saying is that american society has pressured us, especially teens-to-20s, into constantly being reachable. a while ago i wrote about a co-worker who does not have the internet or a cell phone. i think i'm past the point where i could go without either, but he lives a simpler life that i would like to strive for. i don't like people to think they can find me if they need to. i don't want to be found. i don't want to be tied down by technology or, while we're at it, time.

i don't really know what the conclusion i'm coming to is. i probably won't ween myself off of emails because i am looking for a job. for the same reason i won't take away my cell phone. and i already don't respond to text messages if i don't feel like it. i guess what i'm saying is that there is something to be said for being on your own and deciding if and when people can reach you.

maybe it's just the non-conformist in me. or maybe it's the side of me that wants to maintain the Biblical idea of being in the world but not of the world. i feel like i am being "of the world" when i rely on things like facebook. and maybe the more i disconnect myself from everyone, the more time and energy i can have to reconnect with God.