Our car drove into the driveway, and I had taken fallen asleep again in the backseat. The car door slammed shut, I woke up, and we were at grandpas again. I loved the wide of open spaces and woods to explore. I walked into the dark two-story house because they never had their lights on during the day.
There was a TV right inside the front door that was never on. My grandmother sat in the kitchen reading newspapers. I walked through the living room and around the corner to the porch door. I could hear the squeaking of the porch swing where I found my grandpa each time we came to visit. He would sit on the porch swing for hours just staring at the road and the field across the street.
He was overall a quiet man, and when I came here after a brief talk about what I was learning in school, we were silent. It was not an uncomfortable silence or cruel it was the way my grandfather was. I thrived on quiet myself because in the field across from his swing was an open field where my imagination took flight. There were jolly green giants, princesses being rescued, and an assortment of made up creatures. At least twice a month we made this trip on Saturdays to their farm and the quiet.
Some of my fondest memories are of my grandpa and our time together. I wish he could have seen me grow into the woman I am now, and I could have known him as an adult to ask him the questions I never thought of as a child. I am confident my life would be different.
Since then the days of swinging with grandpa, almost 20 years ago, things have changed a lot. The age of the internet, cell phones, and tablets came into public existence. Now there are things continually calling for your attention literally. Our phones, tablets, and computers have notifications from apps, texts, and phone calls. I am not sure there is an escape from the internet now unless you are in a remote area. Televisions blaring in every room of the house and now at eating establishments. If I am not on technology, I am talking about something to do with it.
Did you see that movie?
Did you watch that show?
Have you heard that song?
Did you see that video?
Did you see that picture?
It honestly makes me feel overwhelmed. I cannot get lost in my own imagination when there are things continually buzzing and ringing in my ears. So I unplug from it all because my mind longs to be quiet.
I have found weekends liberating for this last part of the year. Aside from a few weekends, I have tried my best to stay of technology in particular social media. My phone goes into silent mode starting Friday night, and it does not change until Sunday morning. It is not a matter of being completely, but it is a matter of deciding when I will check my electronic devices. I am taking the control back instead of letting electronics control me.
Do I sometimes miss things? Yes.
Do I miss important things? No.
I have shut off as many notifications that are not important to me as possible. This has become vital to my family life and my creative life. I thought I would be missing out on too much in other people’s lives, but the truth is I didn’t. People had called me when someone I knew died, and if I had missed it they are dead already what I can do? I have found more peace and creativeness by now allowing outside forces into my home through my phone.
Yes, this is also why sometimes it may take me a couple hours or sometimes days to get back to a friend. I am not saying we all must forgo social media and technology, but sometimes it is nice to leave my phone in the house and sit outside to watch the wind blow. In this world of instant everything, I miss the days of before cell phones and the internet when it took 15 minutes just to connect. It made you really question whether this phone call or internet time was worth it.
When I am nature, my thoughts come back to the surface, and I can ponder again.
Unplug with me and let our imagination run free.