Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

Design your life to include more money, health and happiness with less stuff, space and energy.

The Week of Living Connectedly

As regular LifeEdited readers know, I am no tech zealot. Sure, I use the stuff copiously. I have up-to-date gadgets: 15″ Macbook Pro with SSD, iPhone 5, iPad 2, etc. I am pretty facile with social media: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. I know my way around apps, how pay bills online and troubleshoot my network printer when it goes offline. But I am no true believer. I certainly don’t believe in salvation through technology. I shudder when I see people glued to their phones. I find the concept of the Singularity frightening. Like many of us who were not fully immersed in technology from the womb, people who remember vinyl, landlines and bunny-ear antennae, I hold onto a certain degree of technological nostalgia. I often wonder whether we’d be better off if technological progress stopped right after humans figured out how to stop plagues.

In many ways, because of these beliefs and prejudices, I don’t give tech a chance. I don’t see how it can and does improve my life. I wonder what my relationship to tech would be if I were to let go of these beliefs and take on the idea my friend Jason Silva calls “radical openness”–a state abetted by technology, where the free-flowing exchanges of ideas initiates an unprecedented rate of growth for human evolution and consciousness? What if technology is here to help me grow and connect with something greater than myself?

So I am conducting an experiment. Rather than going on a tech and online media fast as many are wont to do nowadays, I’m going to pig out for the next seven days, I’m going to avail myself of as much technology as I can and be as connected and reachable as possible. I even took my first selfie (though it may be my last).

Here’s where I’ll start:

  • Turning on all of my chats: Facebook, Google +, G chat. (they’re all black right now. Skype is reserved for work).
  • At least 10 tweets/day.
  • At least three Instagram pics/day.
  • Share at least five things/day I’m reading across various social media channels.
  • Regularly checking in my location with Facebook and Four Square.
  • Experimenting with other social networking sites such as Nextdoor.com.
  • Most important, I will be proactive in reaching out to others–i.e. not just a passive observer of the others who do share (I think this is the big one).

You are personally invited to find me, engage me, introduce yourself, drop me a message, if you happen to see that I’m near you, say hi to me. Share your ideas for LifeEdited, your editing challenges and triumphs, you experiences with tech, whatever. Below is where you can find me online:

I’ll be reporting regularly on my experience and write up a summary on this site next week. I look forward to meeting you on the interwebs and exchanging ideas.

  • Slackerjo

    Just reading this has exhausted me. Good luck with your experiment!

    • David Friedlander

      so far i’m still standing, but we’ll see.

  • Pat Friedlander

    The problem with obsessing about anything (like NOT using technology or using technology to the exclusion of human interaction) is that the obsession takes over. We can take what we need–or what enhances our lives–and leave the rest.

  • Rob Eisner

    Edit, proofread. It’s a wonderful website, but shutter for shudder? Content for contend the other day? Any many more such typos. This important content deserves attention to details.

    • Matt

      I think he’s doing an awesome job. I own a website and I know that trying to keep it perfect all the time will cause a nervous breakdown. We’re only human.

    • David Friedlander

      thanks rob and matt–for your proofreading and and compassion respectively. and rob, i’m flattered you think my contend is that important ;-). seriously, thanks for looking out and reading.

  • Tania

    The list above sounds like a social media campaign schedule :-) I’ve been going the other way in my efforts to simplify and focus more on core goals. Although I’m very much into tech for organization/productivity since the days of the palm pilot, I’m pulling back now. I’m cancelling my iPhone service in a few weeks and will just use my iPhone as an iTouch from now on. Switching to a $25/mo unlimited talk/tech/no data plan AT&T go-phone (went with a Nokia windows phone because I can type fast on it as I text, a lot). I do have an iPad mini and a hotspot so I can still connect to synch my to do lists or use maps but it will take a bit more effort and intent. It will eliminate the mindless “checking” I tend to do during the day. I will need to change a few habits regarding streaming, which will be the most difficult part. I did get rather sick of feeling trapped by the phone carriers with their inflexible plan structures/contracts. I also like having a phone that the battery doesn’t die by 3PM. I am one of the few people I know that will be without a smartphone that was an actual avid user (most people I know are like “I wasn’t doing much with it anyway). I’ll also be brutally editing out my apps.

    Btw, followers get annoyed if you IG too much, I’d say even 3/day is too much. I’m looking forward to reading about how your experiment went and how you felt by the end of it.

    My no smartphone experiment started out of necessity with a ex BF “situation”. I had to unplug for a bit and found I read and exercised more. I also was more present when socializing with friends.

  • Sarah

    Interesting concept. I’ve landed in the “less is more camp” though often wonder if I’m just being contrary and missing opportunities. Consequently I’ll be awaiting the results of your experiment with interest. I also rarely comment on the blogs I follow however felt compelled to acknowledge this post…hhmmm

  • Carmel

    Today my daughter yelled “hello!” to a friend as we drove past, but the girl didn’t notice because she was busy looking at her phone. Once while hiking I passed a woman talking loudly on her phone, oblivious to both me and her small dog who was vigorously munching down fresh horse poop behind her (that was funny). These devices are tools, a bit more glamorous than the garden trowel I’m amount to go pick up and use to plant some flowers. Now there’s a tool no one seems to get addicted to.

  • Melanie Archer

    I *work* in tech. To sustain my career, I’m obliged to do all that social-something business, and contend with the multiple chat window noise. To relax, I turn all that stuff off and go for a hike outside of cellphone coverage.

    I fear for your sanity, honestly. At the end of the day you’ll wonder, “What did I accomplish?” and the answer will be “Not much,” since you’ve tried to work in a setting of constant interruption.

xpopup