A State of Ignorant Bliss

Do you ever feel like we live in a fast-paced world of digital gluttony?  I do.  Just last week I had a not-so-romantic dinner date with my laptop followed by a dessert course with an iPod Touch.  Then there was the nightcap with Mr. Blackberry.

Sometimes a person simply needs to get away.  To unplug.  To relax.  To tune out.  To leave their electronic gadgets behind.  To experience freedom from the umbilical cord to virtual reality. 

Over this past week I did just that.  Everything with an on/off switch was powered down.  I packed a suitcase and flew to a far away land…


I sat in places like this…

made connections with creatures that I can’t friend on Facebook…

…and experienced life from a completely unconnected perspective. 

When asked how I felt on the last day of the trip, my response was I’m in a state of ignorant bliss.”

If you were born before 1980, then you can probably remember back to when there was no Google…just 14-volume encyclopedia sets and public library card catalogues.   You can remember when there were no 3-D Street Views…just the world outside your window.  You also remember when there wasn’t a constant symphony of buzzes, beeps, and pings going off all around you…just the sound of leaves crunching beneath your footsteps and birds chirping overhead. 

In the world today where we are all so connected, I have to wonder…are we losing the most meaningful connections of all? 

How important is technology in your everyday relationships?  Do you ever feel like escaping from cyber-space?

14 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by duke1959 on February 4, 2011 at 9:36 am

    I’m old enough to remember when we didn’t have all this stuff. It did make life have a sense of peace.


    • Yes, it was more peaceful, except when ya had to get off the couch to change the TV channel. Remember when TVs had dials? Okay, now I’m really revealing my age – ug!


  2. Gosh, I’ve often been charged with Ignorant Bliss. That’s usually when someone calls my cell phone only to find it ringing on the counter. I love leaving it behind, giggling all day, knowing that no one really knows where I am at that exact minute and there’s no way for them to contact me to find out.

    I am very connected with my laptop from Monday to Friday, but there must be a very good reason to turn it on during the weekends. I find a day away from the computer very productive. And I only carry my cell phone when the kids are in school or when there’s bad weather that might ditch me. Otherwise, I don’t need it. I lived this long without a phone in my pocket.

    I know it is the ‘in thing’ to be connected, but I don’t even answer my house phone most of the time. What I’m doing is usually too important to interupt. That may include washing the dishes, gardening, sitting in the sun or reading my kids a story. I have call display and a message machine, so I can easily call back at my convenience.

    Perhaps I will be jailed some day for ‘miscommunication’, but until then, I’ll continue to enjoy being disconnected.

    Great pictures. I’d love to spend some time there, disconnected.


    • Hi Diana! I envy you for being able to resist answering the phone. That’s a hard one for me. My phone doesn’t ring that often on the weekends, but if it did while I was washing the dishes, I think I’d tear myself away from the Dawn bubbles to answer it :-).


  3. Glad you took your digital camera, though, these pictures are awesome.

    I think too many people use being continually “connected” as a way to escape internal reflection and evaluation. Because if your phone is ringtoning and your gadgets are buzzing, if you’re so terribly busy busy, then clearly, CLEARLY, you don’t have time to be mindful. Even though you’d really, really like to, of course, if you only had time.

    I think it’s vital to periodically get out in the middle of nowhere, even if it’s a hike in a city park, or a bathtub with lit candles all around and no phones allowed in, and just BE.


  4. Love this! Last year I went on a tech detox diet. It wound up being a series of blog posts that ForbesWoman picked up. It was not easy, especially since there were no beautiful vistas like the ones you posted to distract me. But it was a good thing. And you are reminding me I might need to take one again soon!
    Here is the post that started it all!


    • Joanne – I read your series and loved it. I think the lesson here after reading your posts and thinking about my own week away from cyberspace is that…our minds and our bodies need to be in the same place more often. For example, it’s too easy to be out to dinner with someone while having a text message conversation with someone else. Not good. I’m personally going to try and make more of an effort to keep my body and mind in the same place. Are you with me?


  5. Well, wherever you went…it looked gorgeous and totally relaxing.

    I laughed at the part when you menitoned “no Google…just 14-volume encyclopedia sets and public library card catalogues.”

    Yes, I DO remember that! I was very late entering the world of computer technology. I didn’t get online until 2004, can you believe it? Brother, am I making up for lost time now.

    I think it’s very important nowadays to at least be familiar with how computer technology works because it’s apart of everything we do. However, there is such a thing as excess. I can always tell when I need to pull back from all things techinical, because my mind begins to get very ‘spacy.’


    • Warning – overuse of technology may cause your brain to go spacy.

      The funny thing is although I was unplugged in the Caribbean, I was surprised to see how many people took their iPads to the beach. Maybe they needed an iTan.


  6. I’m also old enough to remember when computers were not normal in people’s homes and all there was when you did have one was dial up and AOL. I can see the good that has come from all the technology but I can also see the bad.

    Example: One of my professors (I’m in grad school) said the other day that students expect a reply to an email SENT at 2 am within a couple of hours. That’s just insanity that I refuse to play into. I tell people that I don’t sleep with my cell phone near me so they shouldn’t expect a response if they text or email me in the middle of the night until the next morning. I’m not a robot!

    I’m so glad you got to take a nice, relaxing trip! And I love the picture of the lizard! So cute!


    • Thanks Stacie – now I have that Styx song Mr. Roboto stuck in my head. Domo arigoto Mr. Roboto…domo…domo.

      A 2AM response – that’s crazy wrong. A watched a news report once that said Americans born after 1990 crave immediate gradification due in part to texting and other sources of immediate feedback – college is a good place to learn that some things take time…GO STEELERS.


  7. Posted by suzicate on February 7, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    AWESOME! At times, I feel such a need to stay connected, and that’s when I realize I need to cool it. Getting back to nature helps me put it in perspective…trying to only blog a few times a week now to do some things I’d placed on the backburner. And then, I bought yet the one thing I said I’d never resort to, a kindle. My excuse is that it is a space saver. But the upside is that I am taking the time to read which I hadn’t been doing unless it was a blog or FB!


    • I haven’t gone Kindle but I can totally see the advantages. I like the feel of a real book in my hands…are you reading anything good right now?


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