Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Making Face Time

"Power down. Log off. Unplug. Have mercy on your thumbs.

Browse the World Wide Something Else. Send some not-so-instant-messages.

Undo. Hit cancel. Be together."

Dentyne might be on to something. Has anyone ever see these commercials? Urging us to "make face time"? While I question what that really has to do with gum is another story...but the message makes me think. 

I am so unbelievably guilty of this. Instead of making plans, my laziness kicks in and I find it easier to sit in front of my TV with my laptop adorned on my lap chatting away to three people at a time on AIM. While everyone knows this isn't all bad; Facebook, AIM, E-mail, Cell phones, make it easier than ever to stay in touch with those closest to you. And unfortunately we can't "make face time" with friends who are away at college 9 months out of the year...but we can make other steps. 

Our generation is as guilty of this as ever before. We are so used to computers and cell phones and TV and instant gratification that it has become a rarity that we hang out with someone and one of those is not involved. How often do we choose to chat with someone online instead of meeting them somewhere? 

To be honest, those Dentyne commercials made me feel horrible. I have always felt I am too wired, online too much, attached to my cell phone....but then I look around. I'm not the only one. 

So I challenge myself and I challenge you. To make tiny steps to become unplugged. Being Internet savvy will always be important but "making face time" will always be the best parts of life. Don't you agree?

Set aside certain times of the day to check your e-mail, browse Facebook, or chat on AIM. Set a time limit if you have to. 

Call someone and ask them to meet somewhere or do something that doesn't involve technology. While thinking of this one...most things in mind are $$$ involved. Meet for coffee. Take a class.. art, exercise, whatever. You get the idea. Low on cash? Go for a walk. Make your own smoothies. Write something silly together. Dance to your favorite song. The list can go on.

Forget sending your faraway friend an e-mail or Facebook message for a day. Send an old fashioned letter instead. Send them a care package...anything that CAN'T be sent over the World Wide Web.

Make a list of things to do when you're bored so you don't succumb to 3 hours of Facebook stalking. Work out. Do some extra homework. Do a Sudoku puzzle. Read a book. Stare out the window. Do whatever makes you happy that doesn't involve a keyboard or a reality show.

Make plans. Set aside one day a week that you spend with a certain friend. This will ensure you truly do "make face time". Maybe they can even be your accountability buddy for making sure you don't stay a slave to the laptop. 

This always makes me think of a good 'old JT song.

"Ayo, I'm tired of using technology. Why don't you sit down and talk with me?" :]

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