S.G. Browne

You’ve Been Disconnected

I came across a tweet today from John Hornor Jacobs, a friend and fellow word slinger, who posted the photo on the left along with the sentiment: “Days like today remind me that humans are supposed to spend a large amount of their lives under the open sky.”

As writers, we spend a lot of our time indoors in front of a computer, which is not what humans were created to do. Throw in all of the Facebook updates and the Twitter posts and the online social networking and you can become so connected that you forget to unplug.

Even when we go out, we’re still plugged in, taking our electronic leashes with us, be they cell phones, smart phones, iPads, laptops, etc. We’re always checking our e-mail, our Twitter feed, posting what we’re doing and when we’re doing it and who we’re doing it with, calling friends and family while we’re out and about. We become these share-whores, unable to experience a moment without wanting to post about it or tweet about it or talk about it.

So in effect, while we strive to stay connected to all of these people who are not there to share the moment with us, we become disconnected from experiencing the moment ourselves. It’s impossible to be in the present when you’re constantly connected somewhere else. But we’ve become conditioned by technology to take us out of where we are and electronically connect us somewhere else.

And so I took John’s advice and went outside to enjoy the afternoon sunshine of San Francisco. Granted, my sky wasn’t nearly as beautiful as his, for it lacked the clouds to give it texture, but I don’t have any photos of it to share because I left my smart phone and my laptop at home. That’s not to say I didn’t jones for my phone, but for a couple of hours, it felt good to disconnect.

Filed under: The Writing Life — S.G. Browne @ 8:28 pm


  1. Excellent post (she says, commenting from her phone)

    Comment by Cate Gardner — May 10, 2012 @ 7:26 am

  2. Great post! I live the term “share-whores” luckily my job keeps me away from my devices a lot but it still takes effort no to always grab my phone :)

    Comment by kai charles — May 10, 2012 @ 8:40 am

  3. Tony has recently returned to fishing as a means to get away, to relax and to be one with nature. There have been a few times I have tagged along and…wow, the awe and beauty that is out there for us to see and experience is amazing. Yes I do take along my iPhone but were we go there is no service. What I do is usually spend the first few minutes taking picture that I will later upload to share but then my phone goes in my pocket and I just revel in the surrounding peace. There is nothing like the sounds of the river as it rounds the bend or the birds chirping as it hops from one evergreen to the other. 

    Yes I love my technology but disconnecting at times is much needed and so stress relieving. 

    Comment by HeadshotHeather — May 10, 2012 @ 8:55 am

  4. Heh. Share-whores. I love it :)

    I don’t have a cell phone (*gasp* I know, right!) and I’m far too lazy to carry my laptop around with me, so I’m pretty leash-free but that didn’t stop me from being totally addicted to a video game for a couple years. *sigh* These days we’re getting out more and more and I’ve never felt better. It’s awesome.


    Does bringing my camera along count as a leash? Hmm…

    ~ Rhonda Parrish

    Comment by Rhonda — May 10, 2012 @ 9:33 am

  5. I had this very conversation at work yesterday. People were shocked to hear I don’t own a cell phone. I don’t tweet. I am leashless. I do like the term Share whores. I’m going to file that one away for future use! :)

    Comment by Helen — May 10, 2012 @ 4:53 pm

  6. Thanks for the comments. I’m glad to have added share-whores to the lexicon. As for not having cell phones, I admire that. I often leave my cell phone home when I go out with friends because I’m out with the people I’m supposed to be with. People who answer their cell phone while I’m with them drive me nuts. But that’s another blog post.

    Oh, and Heather, I may have to come fishing with you. :)

    Comment by admin — May 11, 2012 @ 6:33 am

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