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Culture & Religion

In Praise of Being Overconnected

Despite all the advice that author Bruce Feiler was given about ‘switching off’ and ‘unplugging’ during summer vacation, he found staying connected to the Web was a boon. 

What’s the Latest Development?

Before taking time out with family on summer weekends, the advice that author Bruce Feiler received from all corners was to switch off his mobile devices and spend time away from the Internet. He did just the opposite. “During weekends this summer, I would pursue the opposite of an unplugged vacation: I would check screens whenever I could. Not in the service of work, but in the service of play.” From nature walks to ghost stories on the beach, Feiler used the power of social networking and crowd sourcing to spice up his down time. 

What’s the Big Idea?

It is often taken for granted that disconnecting from the Internet will add authenticity and more genuine experiences to life, but is that necessarily so? Not exactly, says Feiler. “While the Internet is often accused of making us more shallow, I found that time and again our devices helped deepen a moment, or extend it a bit longer.” Whether it was helping his daughter learn to Hula Hoop or braid lanyards, staying connected kept Feiler and his family in the present moment. Just be careful not to be constantly checking your email, he advises. 


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