Confession of an Internet, techno-junkie

As inspired by today’s SoloPR chat and my recent so-called Unplugged vacation, a few random thoughts on today’s hyper-connected world and what it all means.

While my priorities are in check and I’m not so addicted to social media that I’d ever ‘like’ my own status update, I have to face the writing on the wall: am a ‘plugged in’ person.

Going Offline is easier… when you have no choice.

I trapped myself on a cruise ship last week, with Internet access rates that would do loan sharks proud. (Starts at $0.70/minute for satellite-based speeds, shudder.) It’s nice to check in on things, but not at those prices.

I did however pop into a computer place while shopping in port mid-trip; 10 minute email check = peace of mind, knowing the world didn’t implode in my absence.

Cutting the cord? Didn’t happen.

I used my devices when I could. In St. Thomas, my AT&T cellphone was good to go, so I checked messages, made a few calls. My iPad was my music gaming fun device, used daily.

I did try to read a few ebook novels, but it was too relaxing – if you can fathom such a thing – and kept making me want to nap. Since I can nap at home for free, I put down the iPad and went on the water slides, played trivia, learned the Thriller dance. (Thankfully there exists no photos or video.)

We’re a plugged in, connected world. Deal.

Face it, even if we try to completely unplug, go social media cold turkey, it’s everywhere: TV, news, at the gym, at work, our phones and friends. A problem faced by social media addicts trying to cut back, the disconnect.

Watching the news in my cabin, I did have that ‘cut off’ feeling, the not knowing what was going on back in the world but it wasn’t too bad. I missed work, my friends, my online life but I’m happy to wait a day or so before uploading pictures to Facebook and marking the Reader as “read” has been all too easy to do.

One of the first things I did upon checking into the hotel post-cruise: fire up the iPad and WiFi. I was sneaking in a couple days at Disney World and it was the easiest way to double check reservation times, confirm directions. Anything I wanted to do, getting connected was the best way to do it.

Balancing act

As with work, play, wine, surfing, Jenga – it’s balance: using your devices and online time to help manage your work and play, not letting them manage you. I’m a connected person, but know how to step away when I need to. Now if I can just find someone in Atlanta who sells the well-balanced Cederberg Bukettraube we had a Disney’s Jiko the other night, I’d be all set.

YOU: have you ever gone offline for an extended trip? Totally unplugged, leaving the laptop and iToys behind? How’d it go?

Photo credit: ME! Going offline and out of town, you get to take pretty pictures like that one in St. Thomas.

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