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How I survived being tech naked

It’s been a couple of weeks since my tech naked experiment. If you haven’t been around since then . . . I survived. And it wasn’t that bad. In fact, it was probably a good thing.

What is tech naked?

. . . going for an extended period of time without access to, or choosing not to access, technology such as computers, internet, social media, email, and the Apple App Store.

My wife and I drove 18 hours to Florida for a sweet vacation. I decided not to take or use technology on the way or while there. No social media updates. No laptop. No email. No Twitter updates. No hashtags. And to be honest, it was a bit unsettling. I’ve gotten used to having access to information, to people, to data.

The plan was simple. Sit on the beach. And, well . . . that’s it. I packed a serious number of books along. Stashed some magazines. Planned on some naps. And because I couldn’t hide behind a phone or iPad, I figured there would be some actual human conversation with my wife.

The verdict?

I’d do it again. In a heartbeat.

beach bookI ended up reading four books including 1861 and April 1865. Created a few outlines for some new social studies / standards workshops. Took a lot of pictures. Ate some seafood. Sat on the beach for days. And had some very cool conversations.

Will I give up technology? No. But I think the five days tech naked made me appreciate both the power and the pitfalls of tech. Being tech naked helped reinforce for me the power of face to face, of body language, of give and take. But it also helped me see how powerful information can be and how that easy access to information can transform how we live.

A recent article highlights some of the things we can do to use tech appropriately:

Choose wisely / Don’t worrying about missing out
Decide what you want the tech to do. Pick the right tech. Realize that your decision impacts others. Yield to the present.

Respond calmly
Start every online conversation in the “right frame of mind” – calm, ready to listen, using facts, moderating emotion.

Don’t forget real life interactions
Use technology to build relationships, not create tension. It’s about people, not screen time.

Breathe deeply / Communicate kindly
Before responding via email, posting on Facebook, or tweeting, pause. Think. Check your facts. Rethink. Delete. The tech playground is wide open. So play nice. Quit throwing sand.

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