Archive for September, 2014

This past weekend, a group of us stayed in a cabin outside of Yosemite. We were there Friday through Monday. The cabin was situated near the top of a hill, almost two miles off the main street. A one-lane dirt road led to the cabin; it was barely wide enough to fit a car. Though the cabin was modern with a full kitchen, two bathrooms, a hot tub and wrap-around decks on both levels, it was without phone or Internet. We were forced put down our smart phones and be completely present.

The long weekend was amazing. We hiked, cooked, drank, hot-tubbed, laughed, looked at the stars, and had some amazing bonding moments. Half of the people I’d only met a couple of times, and one for the first time. Being disconnected from our phones and Internet allowed us to connect without distraction. I was more focused and present than I typically am. Knowing my phone was useless (except to take pictures) kept me from being tempted to “check in” with the outside world. When I needed to get away, I didn’t turn to a screen. I zoned out in the hammock or on the porch swing. I contemplated. I stood on the deck and soaked in the scenery. I had moments of clarity and overwhelming awe at my surroundings.

10660237_10102525990491610_2717015644767986343_n 1924368_10102525988690220_3992134112859872609_n 10600441_10102525987028550_2972628546059613005_nIt brought me back to my childhood, when the option to plug in didn’t exist. I’d almost forgotten what that’s like. On the drive back to San Francisco, I waited as long as I could to take my phone off airplane mode. I wasn’t ready to deal with artificial communication and the uncomfortable feelings of guilt and obsession that come with addiction.

For the almost four days I was without phone and Internet, I didn’t miss it. I didn’t wonder what was happening back in San Francisco. I wasn’t tempted to Instagram every moment. I was too busy having and appreciating those moments with my friends. The trip was an important reminder that true connection happens in person, not online.

I’m grateful to the friend who invited me on this trip. I needed it more than I even realized, and I was reminded that I should put more effort into disconnecting from the keyboard and connecting with things that engage all of my senses.

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