The High Cell - Unplugged

When was the last time you really... "unplugged"? I mean no phone, no Internet, no TV. No Twitter, no Facebook, no email, no eBay. No local/world/political news, no weather updates, no iPod, no PS3 or Xbox, no... Technology.
If you're anything like me, it's been entirely too long (and the times that I have in recent memory, have been solely by necessity and have been fairly short-lived). To be very blunt and analytical about it, I can plainly see and admit the fact that I've conditioned myself to rely on (and create) technological distractions as a mechanism to deal with my own reality.
As R. Buckminster Fuller once put it:
"Up until the Twentieth Century, reality was everything humans could touch, smell, see, and hear. Since the initial publication of the chart of the electromagnetic spectrum, humans have learned that what they can touch, smell, see, and hear is less than one-millionth of reality."
As a fella in my early 30's, I can say it's ridiculous how far technology has advanced in my lifetime. And with it, so has my awareness of the rest of reality. Not only can I be current on the political unrest in Tibet (where I've never been), but I can listen to new music from the band Current Swell in Canada that I love (who I've never seen live and never heard anyone else talk about). Not only can I know right now what the weather is like in the Galapogos Islands (unfortunately another place I've never been), but I can also know what "Barbara Fatpants" (who I've never met) on Twitter is having for dinner tonight in Akron, Ohio.

This isn't all bad, as I think it's great to broaden our personal perspective on the world. It all reminds me that whatever crap I have going on, isn't the only thing that exists.

But can it become too much of a distraction? Can living vicariously through the rest of reality become an escape from your own? Can it change the way you perceive your own existence, both directly and indirectly? I mean, I happen to know for a fact that Barbara Fatpants visited my website and listened to my music. She said sh really e liked it, but she didn't buy it and she didn't share it with anyone else! And someone from Tibet liked The High Cell's Facebook page, but never responds to the posts that I spend so much time trying to make "witty" enough for them... I fail at life so hard when it comes to being a professional musician.

I might even be an amplified example of creating your own distractions. As I get older, I find it more and more difficult not to be "doing" more than one thing at all times. Call it technologically-induced ADD. If I'm checking my email, I also want to be listening to a Joe Rogan Experience podcast. If I'm playing the new Madden game online against someone on the other side of the world, I want to be listening to Rokkus Internet Radio at the same time so I can see if my song gets played. If I'm writing a song on the acoustic guitar, I want to be recording it at the same time. If I'm watching TV, I also want to be checking Twitter to see if if I've been discovered by some rich benefactor who really digs what I do musically. Even if I just sat outside, I'd still have to the screechy neighbor kids jumping on a trampoline like I am while I'm writing this blog. So..  why not have music playing too? At least I'll be keeping my brain busy with things I want to hear as opposed to things I'm forced to hear. (No offense to those of you with screechy kids, I'm not insensitive. I just wish someone would invent an effective "child muzzle".)

Not too long ago I talked to a friend who is all about her crazy hippy ideals, and she told me she plans entire days to just sit and do... Nothing. No phone, no internet, no tv, no radio. Absolutely nothing. And i realize a few months later that it's sad how incredulous that sounded to me. It sounded like a completely foreign, alien-born idea not to be doing one particular thing at one time, let alone not to be doing several things at once at all times.

When I was a younger lad I spent entire weeks of my life doing "nothing" technologically, and from what little I can recall of it, it was much more personally rewarding than the current landscape of connectivity as I'm currently processing it. In a very simplistic way, I miss the times when my reality was essentially everything I could touch, smell, see, or hear. Living in the moment is not an unrealistic goal, if only for a short burst at a time. I just need to pick times to live in MY moments, and not the same moments as they relate to the rest of the world.

So I've made a date to pack up my trusty Breedlove acoustic guitar and go camping in the middle of freakin' nowhere. No phone, no Internet, no TV, no rest of the world. Just me and my own little reality... and I'm so excited about it.

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