Thinking about it, I would have to say that the vast majority of the hours in most of my days are spent connected to one electronic device or another.
I wake up in the morning and turn off the alarm I’d set the night before on my iPhone,
then reach for my iPad to retrieve my e-mail, scroll through my Facebook feed, and see what’s happened in the world since I last checked in.
After awhile I’ll get up, connect my drained iPad to the charger, and make myself presentable and ready to face the world. I then boot up my laptop while getting coffee and breakfast (which I eat in front of the computer) and plug in my iPhone to top up its juice.
From Tuesday to Friday I also fire up my work laptop and connect to my remote office so I can retrieve and work on files and so that my co-workers in Victoria can reach me by e-mail and Skype. This computer is set to PST (i.e., three hours behind my physical location) so I can see “office time” at a glance without having to do the calculation in my mind (because I prefer to avoid math if at all possible!).
Whenever I leave the house my iPhone is guaranteed to accompany me and be pulled out numerous times so that I can look up some piece of information, check in on Facebook, or see if I’ve received any new e-mail. Depending on where I’m going (and how big the bag I’m carrying) I may also take my iPad, which has both WiFi and 3G connectivity and, if I’m in the mood for writing, a portable keyboard.
If I stay at home for the evening and am not using my laptop, I will always have my iPad and iPhone close at hand… and, while I’m still old-fashioned enough to prefer paper-bound books to their electronic counterpart, I’ve been known to crack open my Kindle now and then if I can’t wait to get my hands on the printed version of the book I’m dying to read.
I blog every day using my laptop and take daily photos with my iPhone. Quite often while I’m tangling, even – a totally unplugged activity! – I’ll be wearing earbuds and listening to an audiobook on my iPhone. (Hooray for multi-tasking!)
At the end of the day I’ll hop into bed and surf the internet for an hour or two on my iPad and then, when my eyes start to close, I’ll set an alarm on my iPhone and disconnect my brain for the night.
Yes, I’d say I’m connected.
And you know what? I love it.
I’ve never felt the need to step back and unplug, to take an internet break, to go off the grid… because my internet connectedness is an integral and much-beloved feature of my day-to-day life. I’d even venture to say that being plugged in is an extension of who I am, a part of how I define myself.
Because I love the internet! The internet is a place to connect with friends and family from around the world who I might not otherwise have the opportunity to see. The internet enables me to work from home, even though my employer is in another part of the country. The internet offers entertainment, information, community. The internet is where I express myself, and learn from others who are doing the same.
Being online is just as important to me as being offline – for me, they’re two halves of the same whole, with plenty of overlap.
So I’m not planning to unplug anytime soon.
How connected are you? How do you feel about it?