smartphone

Last week, I read an interesting article in The Guardian about tech industry founders who are stepping back from social media and the smartphone. Many of them claim constant connectivity is rotting our brains.

Read “Our Minds Can Be Hijacked: The Tech Insiders Who Fear Smartphone Dystopia.

I BELIEVE THEM. The pressure to stay constantly connected, to respond to every comment, to acknowledge every message, to interact faster and wittier than anyone……well, it’s crushing.

I do nothing well.

So over the weekend, I pretended it was 2005. Social media didn’t exist. I spent a weekend without the computer or multiple devices.

It. Was. Hard.

But here’s what I did with my time instead of surfing and scrolling and staring.

1. Slept in.
2. Had sex.
3. Attended two separate yoga classes totaling 3 hours because zen.
4. Ate tater tots at Mercantile and Mash with MTM because yoga.
5. Shopped at Costco because the cupboards were bare.
6. Admitted to buying a rose gold sequin skirt I didn’t need and hiding it from MTM. Wondered whether it still fits because of tater tots.
7. Finished The Templars by Dan Jones because I had two hours uninterrupted to read.
8. Worked a word puzzle in the NY Times because I wanted to beat MTM to it.
9. Ate 2 brunches with MTM because he made quiche.
10. Cooked 2 dinners at home with MTM because we had so much food.
11. Cleaned those neglected things in the kitchen because I slowed down enough to notice them.
12. Went to buy vegetables at the Lowcountry Food Bus.
13. Had drinks at Harold’s Cabin because they had a new sofa.
14. Took a nap because I could.

Do you hate me yet?

15. Read the Sunday NY Times with MTM over coffee because we used to spend most Sundays sharing the paper and coffee.
16. Folded laundry.
17. Locked the Roomba in our bedroom because the floor was filthy.
18. Dusted.
19. Ate chocolate.
20. Saw Blade Runner 2049 with MTM because Harrison Ford.
21. Discussed Blade Runner 2049 with MTM.
22. Researched flights to Kazakhstan, the closest I got to working.
23. Actually found myself bored.
24. Looked up recipes for red beans and rice because I had a craving.

As a result of taking it easy, I’ve already tackled my entire to do list for the week and have more clarity and energy than I’ve had on a Monday in ages. I’m grateful for my old fashioned, memory-making weekend, because it gave me a great shot of positivity!!

What about you? How do you give yourself a break from constant connectivity?

It started online. That’s how so many affairs happen these days, right? We connect with strangers in cyberspace. The veil of molecular ether makes us bolder. Maybe even flirtier.

I happened upon him chatting with several of his cyber-friends. “You’re going to see that movie? I totally want to go.”

“What about MTM?”

(Because EVERYONE in cyberland knows about MTM…….)

“Forget MTM. I’ve GOT to see this movie with YOU.”

So.

My date with another man was set for yesterday. Thirty minutes past noon. My mate was crippled, after all. A broken collarbone is what he gets for thinking a 50-year-old man can still qualify for the Tour de France. (He will want me to tell you he picked up his bike and finished the day, just like the twenty-somethings on the Tour.)

Anyway.

Back to me.

And my illicit date.

I stood outside the IMAX, nursing popcorn and butterflies. Decided maybe I should go in and get the best seats available. From my perch dead-center, I tweeted him.

Because cyber is the language we’ve used to discuss our panting over the debut of Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar FOR WEEKS. AND WEEKS. AND WEEKS.

Through pretzels and popcorn and deafening bass, we sat together in the dark for almost three hours. Never once did I think about dragging out my phone to tweet a “what do you think?” or “can I have a bite of your pretzel?”

I guess I was a very bad date.

Because, at the end, Kenneth Andrews and I left with our respective partners. MTM and Krista accompanied us on our Date With Geekery.

And I’d do it all again.

🙂

********

Notes:

1. Interstellar isn’t Inception. It’s a visual spectacle, but it doesn’t make me think like Inception or Memento did.

2. MTM broke his collar bone at the ACL joint on Saturday when an ear-budded pedestrian stepped in front of him. He wrecked to keep from mowing her down, flipped over his handlebars and landed on his helmeted head and right shoulder. We find out today or tomorrow whether his injury requires surgery…….and whether his Nurse Ratchet will be able to endure whatever prognosis he receives. Please keep MTM in your thoughts and prayers, if that’s your thing.

3. If you are prone to wear earbuds in public spaces, PLEASE turn your music down and pay attention to your surroundings. (NOT YOUR SCREENS.) Expensive injuries (to yourselves or to others) aren’t worth that extra text or tweet or song or whatever.

4. We are very lucky MTM wears his helmet when he rides. We’re also lucky he was going uphill. He could’ve broken his neck at faster speeds.

My Facebook feed combusted yesterday, a feeding frenzy of cat-calls and judgment.

Over a photo. At a Hollywood event.

Renee Zellweger walked the red carpet looking………..different.

I had some time on the train, so I scrolled through article after article about Renee Zellweger’s face. People (mostly women) bemoaning changes they couldn’t quite define. Doctors (who haven’t treated her) speculating about possible ‘work.’ Pictures (side by side) of Zellweger ten-to-fifteen years ago and today, at age forty-five.

A few people even called her “the next Jennifer Grey.”

I read through the feeding frenzy and almost puked.

Because it doesn’t matter whether Zellweger’s had anything done to her face. If she’s happy, who cares? Why do we continue to propagate the sexist, demeaning notions that women aren’t supposed to age, only to shame them when they (possibly/maybe) do something about it?

I see what’s happened to my own forty-five-year-old face in the past decade. Without any assistance, I know what I’m going to look like.

me one day

A bulldog. I’m going to look like a bulldog.

And, without outside assistance, almost every woman in Hollywood would look like a bulldog variation eventually. If those women did nothing, a whole sector of the internet would erupt with glee over how badly they were aging. But if those women do something, that same sector (and again, can I say HOW MANY WOMEN PARTICIPATE??) shames them for doing anything.

Renee Zellweger’s face is nobody’s business but hers. For the record, I think she looks great, but it doesn’t really matter what I think. She’s happy. She’s said so.

Will we ever get to a place where a woman is beautiful simply because she’s a woman?