People tell me I have a problem. When I go out with friends or whenever I’m alone I am constantly working the buttons of my iPhone. Texting, updating my Facebook status, posting photos to Instagram I’m constantly plugged into to the Internet world of Social Media. But despite being so thoroughly connect with thousands of people around the planet I have never been so disengaged from the world in which I live.
As a communications professional I enjoy the excuse of endulging this online obsession as acts of necessity. A journalist must be ever ready to be tapped into the latest news and information. A big part of my role as a reporter is to share my perspective as a participant observer but without practical experiences with my eyes open wide and my attention focused in the present how can I possibly bring to readers listeners and viewers a compelling narrative that I only witnessed between keystrokes and snapshots?
Fortunately this next Joy Trip Project is taking me out of cell phone and WiFi range for two weeks on the Colorado River. Paddling with friends through the Grand Canyon I look forward to reconnecting with the core of my craft as a writer using only pen & paper and gathering photographs that will not broadcast in real time. I won’t be able to post messages or respond to email or answer phone calls. For the first time in four years I’ll be completely unplugged. This adventure will not be socialized.
My friends who worry about my problem with social media wonder if I’ll survive this ordeal. They’re much less concerned about my whitewater rafting skills than my ability to go two weeks without the Internet. But it’s my hope that I can come through this trip with a better understanding of how I might become more fully engaged in my life by not obsessing over the notion that I must record and share online every random observation. I’m going to trust instead the pleasant recollections of grand adventure that I actually experienced rather than glimpsed with an upward glance from my screen.
Does social media get in the way of your adventures? Post your thoughts in the comments below
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