I've noticed over the last year that I haven't spent a single day away from a computer, and when there's no computer screen in front of me I have a cellular phone or an mp3 player or I'm watching I'm watching a film.
There are also televisions to consider. I don't watch television often, but I could probably say that I've spent a lot of time with family watching it together. We're not looking at each other or playing a card game or dominos, we're watching television and sharing commentary. As much as I enjoy that kind of time spent together I'm lead to wonder what kind of conversations we'd have if there were no glowing screen in front of us.
Don't get me wrong, I love my laptop, my big powerful gaming PC, my cellular phone is only ever turned off in movie theaters and a good dose of teevee is often welcome. You will rarely find me walking outdoors without my mp3 player. It wasn't always like that, however.
There was a span of years where I didn't own a computer and the most sophisticated tech I had was a VCR, TV and an old stereo that sounded amazing. I did, however, have an active social life, attend a weekly poetry reading in a very nice nightclub as a favorite, and played in a heavy metal band or two. Getting together with friends, entertaining people on stage were both things I did regularly, very regularly.
Now I write to expand my mind, and as far as public performances are concerned, my prose does the speaking one reader at a time. Computers make promoting my work easier, allow me to communicate with people who are important to me professionally and personally a breeze. There isn't much you could offer me in trade for that. Not even the life I had before I got back into computers.
Regardless of my comfort and enjoyment of this technology I've decided that for at least one day a year I'll just turn it all off. My laptop and desktop computers will sit quietly idle, my cellular phone will report that I'm unavailable, I won't even watch a minute of television or go see a movie. Instead I'll meet a couple friends at a local pub, maybe read a book, and who knows what else?
That's how I'll mark the occasion of my birthday, I'll unplug.
Oh, and that pic features a device you can purchase on Think Geek, just in case you don't feel as plugged in as you'd like: www.thinkgeek.com/