Happy Thanksgiving, everyone! I hope your Thanksgiving is full of friends, family, and fun. The one thing I hope it isn’t, though, is a Thanksgiving full of technology. Odd hopes from the geek, but it’s a simple enough request. Technology lends a tremendous amount to our day-to-day lives, and most of us check our mobile devices hundreds of times a day, even if it’s a two-second check to see if a text message or call was missed.
The problem is defined as the mobile device addiction; the main symptom is distraction. Don’t be distracted this Thanksgiving, be present.
We run around so much each and every day we just don’t feel as if we have the time to stop and breathe. Let this Thanksgiving be that break. To assist, let me provide some of my own perspective.
I have two children who provide me with endless pride and joy with their kindness, sense of humor, activities, and all of the things that happen in the unplanned moments throughout a day. I treasure my time with them, and every parent of children older than mine consistently says, “Enjoy these times; they go by quicker than you can imagine.” Distraction subtracts from enjoying these times, and if we’ve agreed that the symptom of the mobile device addiction is distraction, the solution is simple: Shut it off. I’m no hypocrite — I will admit to using my phone when I am with them, and will pledge to take my own advice.
The specifics of your situation might be different from mine, though the general concept of wanting to enjoy time with family and friends and “take it all in” is probably quite relatable. Your phone calls and text messages can wait. Put the phone down and leave it detached from you for longer than you are comfortable with. Once you get past the “oh my goodness, what if this person texted me” mindset, you will notice yourself being more involved and focused on what is really important. Make memories — good ones. Your time is infinitely more valuable to those who want to spend it with you than your devotion to a device with a data plan.
Thanksgiving day technology officially approved by this geek would be a TV with everyone watching a parade or football game, or fire up some Jiffy Pop, shut off the lights, and huddle up on the couch after dinner to watch a classic ’80s flick. Movie suggestions would be “Back to the Future,” “The Breakfast Club,” or “Sixteen Candles,” or even kick off the holiday season with “Christmas Vacation.”
Eat turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, and pie. Laugh, listen, appreciate the people you are with, and take special private moments to remember those who aren’t. I hope your Thanksgiving is as wonderful and classic as an old Robert Zemeckis or John Hughes movie. If you spend your day glued to your phone or tablet, then you’re being a turkey that day.
Don’t be a turkey.
Adam Darack is the IT administrator for the town of Edgartown. He will be writing regularly about the technological issues facing Island business owners. Got a question? Send it to firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject line “Dear Geek.”