Disconnect from Your Technology

This blog is written by Lee Gale Gruen to help Baby Boomers, seniors, and those contemplating retirement find joy, excitement, and satisfaction in their lives after they retire from a job, career, parenting, etc. Her public lectures on this subject are titled, “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years.” Her memoir, available on Amazon.com, is: Adventures with Dad: A Father and Daughter’s Journey Through a Senior Acting Class (Click here for website: http://AdventuresWithDadTheBook.com)


March 26, 2015, 2:00pm:  Author Talk & Book Signing, Los Angeles Public Library – Fairfax Branch, 161 S. Gardner St., Los Angeles, CA 90036
April 1, 2015, 1:00pm:  Author Talk & Book Signing, Canoga Park Women’s Club, 7401 Jordan Ave, Canoga Park, CA 91305
April 29, 2015, 5:00pm:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Retirement Years,” Osher Lifelong Learning Institute “Brault Successful Aging Lecture” (Keynote Speaker), California State University Long Beach, 1250 Bellflower Blvd, Long Beach, CA 90840, (free, but pre-registration advised)
May 30, 2015, 11:30am:  Lecture: “Reinventing Yourself in Your Senior Years,” Joslyn Adult Center, “Health and Fitness Expo” 210 N. Chapel Ave, Alhambra, CA 91801

Now, onto my blog:

Finger Pointing to Car RadioDo you need more quiet time in your life and can’t figure out how to get it? We live in an age of too many distractions, and we are constantly multi-tasking and anxious. Everyone and everything seems to be vying for our attention. We don’t even have time to think, contemplate, or wind down.

To preserve our health, both physical and mental, we must disconnect periodically, preferably a few times per day (I’ve blogged here on similar subjects before: September 9, 2014: “Scheduling Down Time,” and February 28, 2014: “Decompressing in a Compression Age.”) This time, I’m going to focus on our technology devices.

Many people have their cell phones hanging around their necks in phone slings so they are close to them at all times. Some of those necklace-like pouches are decorative and also serve as a fashion statement. And, how about the even trendier Bluetooth earpiece, seemingly a permanent feature protruding from an ear of some perpetually-connected types? They can’t even wait the few seconds to retrieve their cell phone and push the talk button.

One long-time, close friend puts her cell phone on the table when we meet for lunch at a restaurant. The moment the phone rings, she looks at the monitor to see if it’s a call she must answer. The reality is that she answers almost all calls “just in case it’s something important.” My reaction to that is: What am I, chopped liver?  Obviously, that “just in case” phone call is more important than our quality time together for the hour or so we’ve allotted in our busy schedules.

This happened to me once on a first (and last) date. We met at a restaurant whereupon Mr. Wonderful plunked his phone next to his plate for easy access. He didn’t like it one bit when I suggested that we turn off our cell phones during dinner.

I have a former friend whose motherly role to her husband and grown children included serving as the family information hub. All day, every day, her husband and children would check in with her several times on the phone, and she would convey the family news and plans from one to another. As you might guess, when I was with her, I spent a lot of time just sitting there like a lox while she waxed on via phone technology. When I once suggested that she not answer the phone during our short time together, she became distraught and defensive. As you might guess, that’s why she’s a former friend.

Another addiction is listening to the car radio or a CD while driving. Have you ever considered turning off that car radio or CD from time to time? Just ride in silence and bask in the quiet; it’s rejuvenating. To help you with that task, I’ve found this amazing method which is quick, easy, and free. What more could you ask for? I’ve used this method for awhile now and found that it works, so there’s no need to check Urban Legends to see if it’s a myth. With some extrapolation, it can be applied to most electronic devices.  Just follow the simple instructions. With a little practice and patience, I’m sure you’ll be able to grasp it. If I could, you can.

Fool proof instructions for turning off car radio
1. Hold index finger out in pointing position.
2. Aim finger toward on/off radio knob.
3. Slowly propel arm forward until tip of finger makes contact with aforementioned knob.
4. Apply additional arm muscle pressure to compel finger to push knob.
5. Listen to determine if sound still emanating from radio. If so, start again from Step 1.

Once you’ve mastered your car radio, try that method on your other technology devices. They may work a bit differently, but with a little tweaking, you’ll get the hang of it.  Some will have to withdraw from their devices like an addict. I know it’s hard, but it’s also calming, liberating, and gratifying. Take charge of yourself, people!  No one else will.

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Filed under aging successfully, Baby boomers, gerontology, healthy aging, longevity, retirement, seniors, wellness

2 responses to “Disconnect from Your Technology

  1. …a good one, LGG. I got a good laugh out of the step-by-step instructions.
    As for me, I put my electronics on a schedule. I don’t do emails or Facebook on weekends. During the week, I check, answer, and delete emails and go on Facebook once a day. My friends laugh at my flip-phone but it serves the dual purpose of being a phone and not being cluttered up with bright shiny distractions that I have to follow like a cat.. It’s also inexpensive (2 phones for about $40.00 a month with Consumer Cellular). We hardly text at all because the keyboard is inconvenient to do so. We just call, if it’s important.

  2. Elaine Gervasi

    I agree wholeheartedly with you. People are so attached to their phones. Give it a miss people and do smell the roses. Technology is the new drug and it’s hard to detach. It takes HUMAN effort. When you make time for that, a walk with a friend or even alone is good medicine.

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