Innovation on Earth

Global Citizenship Resources for Innovation Academy and Beyond

Do you disconnect in order to connect?

I’ll admit it — I have an unhealthy addiction to my phone. I’ve been wondering — is this the week to turn it all off?

A tantrum I witnessed at the Summer Palace in Beijing

A tantrum I witnessed at the Summer Palace in Beijing

The holiday season makes many of us reflect on our lives, all the good, the bad, and the ugly. I find myself going back over the past year and thinking, “was this year what I wanted?” I’m grateful for so many things and I also notice all the holes and things that were missing. Overall, I usually focus on all the amazing people I’ve spent time with throughout the year.

Our Japan group of 15 in one selfie

Our Japan group of 15 in one selfie last summer

Around this time of year, I want to reach out to all my friends around the world to connect, to let them know that I’m thinking of them.

UkraineFriends

Friends in Zaporizhya, Ukraine

With lots of vacation time on my hands, I also find myself spending hours staring at my computer screen. I’m online shopping, reading news, and wasting way too much time on social media.

An "arcade" around the corner from where I stayed in 2007, in the town of Kati, in Mali (West Africa)

An “arcade” around the corner from where I stayed in 2007, in Kati, Mali

And so, I’m pretty sure that this is the time. I need to disconnect for a few days. In order to connect back to my life, to the people around me, and to myself — I need to turn off my screens. I’m honestly not sure if I can keep myself from cheating. If I allow myself GoogleMaps and my phone’s camera, can I really resist Facebook, CandyCrush, and email? It’s embarrassing to admit my addiction.

It's not easy to give up technology.

It’s not easy to give up technology.

On Christmas day, I leave for a mini-getaway in St. John, one of the U.S. Virgin Islands. If I can’t disconnect on a beautiful Caribbean beach, is there something seriously wrong?

The last time I stepped foot in the Caribbean -- Puerto Rico for New Years 2010

The last time I stepped foot in the Caribbean — Puerto Rico for New Years 2010

I’ll be back before New Years, so it’s just a few days away. Still, I’m thinking of all sorts of excuses why I’ll need to check in. I have about 24 hours to make my decision — any advice? What’s your experience disconnecting?

Trying to choose an ice cream flavor at a place in Lares, Puerto Rico with hundreds of flavors

Choosing an ice cream flavor at a place in Lares, Puerto Rico with hundreds of flavors

In case I’m out of touch, wishing all of you a wonderful holiday and last days of 2014.  Whether online or in person, I hope you all have lots of opportunities to connect with the people you love.

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One thought on “Do you disconnect in order to connect?

  1. Cj matthews on said:

    Enjoy a wonderful trip! All the social media will be waiting for you. Happy New Year.

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