Advancing to the Real World

I am a bit of an old coot, but I’ll never be a Luddite.  I like technology and the internet too much.  I keep a list of questions that I want to google at the end of the day (“Southern Cross” was released in 1982 not 1977, Hemingway was married four times, not three). I depend on my RSS feeds and Readers at work to bring me relevant news (“Building the Health Information Infrastructure for the Modern Patient“). I enjoy my Facebook nightcap each evening and I rely on G+ for interesting stories and content to stimulate my thinking. 

But while I embrace most technology, I also attempt to control my consumption.  For example, I’ve resisted a Smartphone for years.  I have dropped friends because, like the guy on a romantic date featured in the AT&T commercial, they cannot bear to break their internet connection.  (And in the AT&T case, don’t you want to tell the girlfriend- that her date’s viewing of the game under the table isn’t the problem- it’s the lying about it that should send her screaming for the exit?!)

A quick word from our Well & Wise sponsors…   Our overuse of laptops and cell phones has other significant downsides. Did you know that there is a name for the problems related to forward head posture caused by laptop and cell phone use?  Text Neck.  Text Neck causes back, shoulder and neck pain, muscle spasms, headache, and more. (Our HCGH Outpatient Rehab department can fix that, by the way!)

A couple of weeks ago I decided to limit my evening internet time.  I had glanced up from my laptop where I was surfing through Howard County Library book reviews to note that on this particular cold winter’s evening, the firelight reflected beautifully on not one, but four silvery MacBooks which in turn reflected not so beautifully on their users.  It begged the question; was this quality family time?  

This weekend, I exerted more independence by delaying access to the virtual world until I had communed with the real world.  Howard County is full of beautiful pocket parks and winding trails and nature centers.  I strolled through Font Hill Park hearing the red – winged blackbirds, photographing an odd gray chucken-like bird and playing witness to a Canadian goose rumble between residents and newcomers to the pond (Residents 1, Newcomers 0).  It was cold, but invigorating; peaceful but engaging.   I think I’m going to like this new routine.   I see that HoCoRising had a similarly enlightening weekend, albeit a little further from home.

By the way…    according to all of my online resources…    My chucken is a Coot!

American Coot, Font Hill Pond