Log-Out Day: Victims of Technology, or a Chance to Grow? [en]

[fr] Les initiatives de "déconnection" comme le Log-Out Day en Corée sont à mon avis symptomatiques d'une immaturité dans l'utilisation des nouvelles technologies, aussi bien à l'échelle personnelle que sociétale. Nous pouvons nous voir comme les victimes de la technologie et la rejeter avec fracas (pour toujours ou pour un jour) ou bien la voir comme une opportunité d'évoluer et de grandir en tant que personnes.

The last link from Laurent‘s post Defriendization is the future of social networks that I want to comment upon is about Log-Out Day in Korea. (Read my first two articles about his post: Defriending, Keeping Connections Sustainable and Maybe Superficial and Scale in Community and Social Media: Bigger is not Always Better.)

We need to be able to disconnect, but again, I’m not sure it’s really worth making a statement about, or taking a stand for. Do we have “electricity-free” days? We do have “car-free” days here, but they’re rarely followed. All this reminds me of the Addicted to Technology meme.

For me, the existence of things like a “Log-Out Day” is a symptom that we (as a society, as individuals) have not yet come to terms with the new technology in our lives. We are not mature in our usage of these tools. We haven’t learned to set boundaries that make sense for us, and we’re not good at enforcing them.

Do you take non-critical work phone calls when you’re taking time off? Do you let new e-mail interrupt you when you’re deep in something else? Do you have trouble saying “no” to the almost infinite requests of the connected world? Do you face difficulties in your relationships with other people, and take the “easy way out” of moving almost all your social life online? I could go on and on.

We can be victims of technology, and resort to rejecting it in sometimes dramatic knee-jerk ways (Log-Out Day, deleting one’s Facebook account, shutting down one’s blog, etc.) — or we can seize the opportunity to grow as human beings.

I do not have to leave my cellphone at the entrance to ignore incoming calls, or not use it (like when I’m on holiday, or during the week-end). I can be lazy about responding to friend requests, rather than deleting my Facebook account because I can’t keep up. I can spend a “technology free” week up in the mountains without checking my e-mail even though I have my iPhone and computer with me. I can decide to not turn back to fetch the cellphone I forgot at home, and go out without it instead.

I can be a hyper-connected person without letting it eat my life away.

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