a unique take on life from some unique women
A few weeks ago, I went on a 10 day cabin trip to the mountains here in Norway – and left all of my communication gadgets behind. Several people I told that I would be doing this gave me really astonished replies. “You’re crazy!” “How bold of you.” “Isn’t that kind of drastic?” These reactions surprised me, but it also confirmed the things I’d been going through for several months.
A big motivation for doing this was that I’ve been suffering from tendinitis in both forearms for the past 9 months, and had been off of work for the past 6 because of the pain and my inability to use a computer. I didn’t know much about tendinitis before all of this, but it’s a super-tricky injury, with no easy cure. Some people say complete rest is the only way to cure it, others say you have to take cortisone shots, do exercises and stretches, be in constant motion. In any case, it takes months, sometimes years to heal completely. What’s certain is that it’s a spreading epidemic, more and more people are getting tendinitis because of repetitive stress – and that repetitive stress is most definitively due to computer, smart phone, and general technology use.
My tendinitis was finally improving, as a result of a good many things, but I think one of them in particular is that I was starting to put down my cell phone and be less dependent on it, and I wanted to have an extended period without even having the possibility of picking it up.
I don’t think I need to go into how complete and utterly dependent we as a society have become on our smart phones. It’s just too obvious. But I guess I’ve experienced firsthand just what that dependency can do. One of the unbelievably frustrating things about the period I’ve just been through is that I wanted to take time off from using technology, I wanted so badly to heal, but I just couldn’t. It would have isolated me completely from the world – everything from meeting up with people for a coffee in the afternoon to my friends and family across the sea.
However, I think it was good for me to really feel what role this technology does play in my life, to take a step back and think more consciously about how I use it, to feel like I’m in control of it instead of the other way around. I am not against technology and innovation – I’m not about to declare that we should all put our smart phones down and run back to the typewriter. Smart phones and computers and the internet are here to stay (at least until the next big thing comes along) and we should be thinking more actively about how we are using them.
Being out cross country skiing (as Norwegians do) in absolutely perfect weather – unbelievable clear blue skies, the strong sun in my face, I had to stop myself from thinking, “I need to take a picture of this so the rest of the world can see it.” Instead I lifted my face up towards the sun, kept on skiing along and just tried to enjoy and cherish the moment for what it was – absolutely amazing.