See You IRL!

Not to be too old-school here, but sometimes we kind of miss the “real world” (whatever that means). Don’t get us wrong, it isn’t like “reality” is all that stellar, or that there aren’t a lot of, um, interesting corners of the online world. But there’s something about being offline, unplugged, de-linked, and generally out-of-doors that still has great appeal. Plus, who knows how long that outer world will be there for us to frolic in, or how many people will even want to before too long. So from where we stand, it’s worth getting out there more!

Okay, so this is our little plug for being unplugged, at least for a little while every so often. It doesn’t take a genius, anthropologist, psychologist, or tech company executive to grasp how much time is spent online and how many more people are increasingly absorbed with their digital devices. Many people (on the younger side, perhaps, but not exclusively) meet the world through those devices in many realms of their lives — from personal relationships and entertainment to financial transactions and workplace functions. This is the “brave new world” coming online all around us, and clearly it has its virtues and spaces of diversion and usefulness.

But it also lacks some important pieces of the puzzle that make a whole, healthy human life and community. We sit too much when we’re online; we’re too distracted and our attention spans are shorter; we tend to gloss over the details in favor of the headlines; and we often find ourselves in misunderstandings and flame-outs when digital contacts go a bit haywire. Again, none of this means that these things don’t happen in the “real” world, but at least there we have a lot of years of evolution to help us navigate and adapt. In the virtual realm, things happen fast and we haven’t caught up yet.

So let this be a nod to getting out into the wild every now and then — especially NOW! Take a little walk, stop and smell the roses, and ponder the great outdoors. Bring a friend, pack a lunch, and make a day of it. Turn off your notifications, leave your phone in your pocket, and set an auto-respond message to do the heavy lifting for you while you’re out hiking, biking, dancing, and romancing! Or even just unplug and drift off, letting yourself go all “bored and brilliant” — you might be surprised what bubbles up. And to celebrate your newfound (or is it “oldfound”?) vibe, tell the world where they can find you

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