Every day, it seems, I read a melancholy confessional from a human disenchanted with modern technology. I’ve been there. Our smartphones, tablets, and laptops as thin as palm fronds simplify life in so many ways, but once you do it all—I mean, when you really hit the heights, and download an app that allows you to order lunch, triple-A batteries, a mortgage, a psychotherapist and a Maltese puppy, all delivered within a half hour—you’re inevitably struck by a soulless, hollow feeling, not unlike the 4th quarter of a Knicks game.
Few among us have not looked down upon that glowing rectangle in our palm and wondered if life would be better if we walked to the water’s edge and pitched the stupid thing in the ocean. (Whereupon it would be retrieved by a dolphin, who, six months later, would also be wondering if it, too, had become addicted, and should toss the stupid thing back to shore.)
Today, many of us are trying to roll back on our tech dependency. We try to untether for small slivers of time – weekend mornings, evenings after 9 PM, Mother’s Day (you didn’t untether for Mother’s Day? Oh well, Mom was going bananas on Facebook anyway.) We celebrate “slow” tech – landlines, vinyl, French presses, books, newsprint (if you’re reading this on newsprint, gold star for you!). We get excited about traveling to places that brag over how disconnected they are. There’s no wi-fi for 300 miles? Terrific.