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The Self-Discovery Digest

by Elizabeth and Katherine Hirsh
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March 2011 Archives

We're very fortunate to live in the 21st century with all its creature comforts, convenience items, and communication tools. We have the luxury of being able to be in touch with almost anyone we want, wherever we are, as well as having access to an almost unlimited supply of information whenever we choose to seek it. Never before has this kind of potential literally been at our fingertips. And yet despite these advantages, we can be overwhelmed with our own desire, and the world's pull, to be constantly digitally connected.

How do you know if technology's grip on your life has gone too far and if you might be in need of a tech break? See if you recognize yourself in any of the following items:

• Do you feel guilty if you don't answer your phone or respond immediately to a text even when it's not an emergency or someone with whom you want to talk?

• Do you feel uncomfortable if you don't answer an email instantly even when its subject is not time sensitive?

• Do you feel afraid to leave your home or office without your phone, laptop, hand-held device, etc., even when you don't truly need to have it?

• Do you tend to record events such as parties, family gatherings, performances, games, etc. to post them online rather than simply enjoying them as they unfold?

• Do you find yourself tweeting, texting, emailing, or updating your online status when you are in the physical presence of someone who deserves your attention?

We encourage you to take a tech break. Put down for a moment the communication devices that keep you tethered to the online world. Tune back into the people and things in your physical world and the experiences that are occurring around you. Rest assured that your virtual communities will be there when you get back, and what's more, you'll have more interesting and substantive things to share after a short break.

Self-Discovery Tool Number 36
Are you feeling overwhelmed by all your digital connections? Is the push to keep up with your communications driving you to exhaustion? Take a small tech break, unplug, leave your devices alone for a while, and notice and appreciate what is happening right now, directly in your physical environment. Cherish your non-screen life and then come back to your online/digital realms refreshed!