Most of the time, I write about how technology is used to enhance the educational experience of students. Technology, yes, is unquestionably a powerful tool. I love technology. I devour technology. I have become a digital native in the most innocuous form-tweeting, texting, iThis and iThat. It is permeated my brain and I am constantly connected….
…Not that being constantly connected is a bad thing.
I realize that it is important, if not vital to my own personal well-being to occasionally disconnect. Last week, I celebrated my birthday by going with my family to our favorite place on earth- the Bahamas. My cell phone did not work, and I didn’t want it to. The internet was not an option unless we were in one corner of a dimly lit restaurant or in the toilet paper aisle of the store that was 20 miles away. I thought it would bother me to not be able to tweet, post, check e-mail on a minute by minute basis, but it didn’t.
What I realized about myself during this self-imposed exile was that I enjoyed listening to the music of the ocean, the rhythm of the palm trees swaying in the breeze, the song of my son and husband laughing. Simple things. Yet, utterly important to regenerating my spirit, to my ability to think, to deal with stress, and to function. I feel clearer, lighter, and more focused. Before I left, I felt all over the place and frazzled.
I also realized that the world kept turning, people survived without me, and it would all still be there when I got back. However, a friend of mine was particularly excited that I had returned because I would once again be able to respond to their CityVille request. Ironically,that made me feel good.
In short, the lesson is about balance. It can be overwhelming-even to our students. Teach them to balance-to unplug once in a while is not a bad thing, but is important to the person as a whole. Technology is a tool-and a very powerful one-so use it wisely.