Friday, 29 March 2013

A plug for unplugging.

I don't feel old, but I do remember a time before technology. My parents didn't own a television until I was four or five. We didn't have a telephone until I was old enough to remember it being installed. Of course there were no computers, games consoles or iPods. However, to claim there was no technology wouldn't be correct. In our living room sat an old-fashioned valve radio which took a few seconds to warm-up and come on. There was a record player with its associated stack of shellac 78s. I say I don't feel old, but writing this does make me sound decrepit. The thing is, though, we've probably all had gizmos and gadgets around us for most of our lives. They've become hugely more complicated and sophisticated, but one way or another we've adopted them as part of our lives.

Good or bad thing? Well not surprisingly I'm in favour of a lot of the fantastic stuff that technology allows us to do. As a teenager I published my ideas to fifty people at a time using a primitive spirit duplicator (loved the smell of the copies, though). Now I can write to many thousands of people a day, sitting at a table in a coffee shop. But simply because technology can be incredibly useful doesn't mean it should be allowed to take over our lives. From time to time it can be enormously liberating to unplug. Not to check your email every few minutes. To leave your phone at home. To just be. Try it. You might like it.