Tech Talk

Observations from Jamie DeLoma, journalist and computer nerd

Step away from that electronic device


As another stressful holiday season slowly fades from the realm of reality to memory, it is important to take a moment to exhale and make sure we are OK.

After concentrating on our friends, family and loved ones for month-long marathon period encompassing Thanksgiving, Hanukkah and Christmas, it is time to turn the focus to ourselves.  To do this most effectively, it is best to turn off the electronic gadgets we have become so reliant on — of course, not until you finish this installment of Tech Talk.

We could learn a lot from the folks at Stephens College in Columbia, Mo.

There, according to the Associated Press, school officials are a little more hands-on about getting the community to power off in accordance with a 176-year-old college tradition.

Earlier this month, several dozen undergraduates powered off their cell phones and piled them in collection baskets in the school’s candlelit chapel. 

Alexis Dornseif, a senior at the college, said she appreciated the Alexis time.

“Sometimes it’s really overwhelming,” she told the AP. “It’s good to have time to think, to not worry about what’s going on tomorrow.”

Dianne Lynch, president of the all female college, said all of the students’ attention paid to technology prevents clutter-free thought.  She told the AP that she wants her students to pursue the state of mind that comes with silence.  She said she hopes to hold the voluntary service at least twice each month.

Universities and corporations across the country should take note of Stephens College’s example and follow suit. 

It is important to remember that in an era where our digital metaphorical leashes are becoming increasingly short that there is life beyond technology. 

Now, I encourage you to follow my lead. Turn off that monitor, BlackBerry, Droid or iPhone and walk away — at least for five minutes.

It will provide the perfect opportunity for you to collect your thoughts, and concentrate on what is most important.

Perhaps you could utilize your tech-free time to go for a ride alone — or with a loved one, or maybe even with the dog.  Or perhaps you could engage in a rousing game of Monopoly, Scrabble or even Taboo!

Come on, give it a try.  It’s just crazy enough to be enjoyable.

Jamie DeLoma