I’ll admit I’m a little OCD when it comes to emails. Every time I sit down at my computer, my goal is to empty out my email box. But it’s a losing battle. As fast as I delete, respond, or file the ones I have, more emails take their place. I can’t seem to get any work done. Ever since emails became the primary form of communication, they seem to have taken over my life.
Many of us suffer from TMCT—too much computer time. We sit and squint at a screen for hours. We forget to blink. Our eyes feel dry and scratchy. We forget to breathe. You’ve heard, I’m sure, that sitting is the new smoking. Too much sitting can be hazardous to your health. After working eight days straight putting this issue and our sister magazine, Tidewater Family, together, I can tell you that I feel like a brain-dead blob. How’s that for a pretty picture?
This is one of the reasons I rarely read for pleasure on the Internet. To me, staring at a screen while trying to relax and escape into an article just doesn’t make sense. Reading stuff online is too much like work. Plus there’s a never-ending bombardment of messages online.
A couple nights ago I was taking a wee break from my editing and lay-out work and clicked on Facebook. I was tired and ready for bed, so I sped-read through my friends’ posts. When I was done, my brain was reeling from all the bits and bytes of info I’d processed—most of it not very interesting. Then there’s the annoying little Facebook ads and sponsored posts that appear suddenly in my newsfeed. I’m over it.
I’m sure I’m not the only one coming to this realization. It’s time to put the brakes on and slow down. Our brains are tired. We need to look at something else besides screens—like birds building a nest or colorful clouds at sunset or stars peeping out of the black night sky.
We need to build experiences into our routines—activities that bring us into contact with nature and people. Traveling is one way to escape from the ordinary, but there are plenty of fun things to do nearby: kayaking, night hikes, stargazing, yoga, and cooking classes, for example. Check TW’s calendar for ideas. Just for fun, I’m gathering a group of friends for a trail ride at Triple R this weekend. Giddy-up! All it takes is a little effort to create an experience that gets us out of our comfort zone and into the real world.
We need to breathe in fresh air. We need to disconnect from computers and smartphones and connect with people more. Already, a feeling of isolation pervades the modern world. Look at our kids, heads bent, texting nonstop. I’m afraid they’ll forget how to have a real conversation. It’s time to turn off the screens. TMCT is a choice.
Spring is the perfect season to remind ourselves of how much this area has to offer. Grab your spouse or BFF and plan some fun. Just do it!