How to disconnect and not lose your friends

Getting offline is not the end of the world.

This is what I’ve been telling myself of late as I try to reclaim more time for myself and the ones I care for. Putting aside the hours during which we work, sleep and eat, much of what is left over isn’t available for play, rest or quality engagement (such as interesting conversations with someone who is sitting in front of you about any topic under the sun, coupled with actual eye contact and the absence of incessant smartphone usage).

Instead we are surfing, answering emails or Facebook-ing. (How horrifying is it that “facebooking” is now practically a verb, not unlike googling?)

Why are we online so much? Why are we so addicted to social networks and being “connected”? Is it a fear of missing out? But what are we missing out on — countless inane status updates or the umpteenth picture (from yet another angle) of a friend’s rush-hour lunch?

If this were true, then my real fear wouldn’t be missing out; rather it’d be not missing out. This is not how I want to spend my most precious, non-renewable resource (hint: it’s not gasoline or cash).

If I want to know how you are doing, I will call you up or drop by your home and ask you. I will bring some food, maybe, and we will share it. Or we will head out to a nice restaurant and enjoy a good meal. I will know exactly how beautifully prepared (or not) your dish is because I can see it. I will know if it’s truly delicious because I will ask for a bite (and offer you some of mine too).

When I say thank you for spending time with me, I will mean it and show it by patting you on your shoulder, or hugging you, or giving you a kiss, or all of the above. Sure, I might smell or you might be sweaty, but we are touching each other and happy we are friends and not worrying about being “disconnected” because we are not online.

We will be living, not merely alive and “online” (whatever that means).

Hmm. Doesn’t seem so bad after all, does it?

18 Responses

  1. Wokandspoon January 14, 2013 / 4:27 am

    Very true! Happy New Year and best wishes for 2013!

    • Kenny January 14, 2013 / 9:32 pm

      A very happy new year to you too, dear!

  2. Michelle Chin January 14, 2013 / 9:35 am

    To be honest, I feel really disconnected from the food blogging scene when I decided to shut down my blog for good. Although it’s really still there… I just set it to a diff setting so it’s only for my viewing pleasure…

    So… I guess this is the reason why i need to feel connected? :D

    • Kenny January 14, 2013 / 9:32 pm

      I believe we all discover our own “settings” and boundaries; I’m sure you will too, in time.

  3. Choi Yen January 14, 2013 / 4:05 pm

    I’m still prefer “online talking” because I’m not so good in direct communication :P

    And I’m glad to have those social network, we know each other via our blogs, don’t we?

    • Kenny January 14, 2013 / 9:33 pm

      Blogs, in its traditional form and function, can be an amazing communication and friend-making tool. I’m thankful to have met you this way. *hugs*

  4. Michelle January 14, 2013 / 10:14 pm

    I like the ‘How-to’ series. Haha.

    I’m a late internet-user. I simply refused to connect on to Facebook, even when I went to NZ. But the inevitable had to happen. Heh.

    But yeap, connecting for real is the favourable option. =)

    I promise to “connect” with you soon. =p

    • Kenny January 15, 2013 / 5:36 pm

      Hmm, that’s an interesting observation. I am not really planning a series of “How To” articles/posts but we’ll see what happens. Could be fun.

      Hats off to you for holding off connecting online for as long as you did. These days it’s more about moderation rather than trying to go cold turkey though that could be amazing if one takes the plunge. Who wants to try first?

      In the meantime, here’s to connecting for real and with lots of really good coffee!

  5. Paul January 15, 2013 / 9:20 pm

    Gasp! No more online pokes? :P

    • Kenny January 16, 2013 / 7:34 pm

      Pokes are more fun offline, I find. *winks*

  6. a lil disconnected fat monkey January 15, 2013 / 10:48 pm

    well in my case i have to facebook y’all cos all my darling friends are in another country. so one has to “connect” to catch up wit life.

    Having said that, i can’t wait to hang out with y’all physically when ur in town soon.

    • Kenny January 16, 2013 / 8:03 pm

      Poor monkey. You’ll get plenty of us soon enough. *chuckles*

  7. ciki January 16, 2013 / 8:18 am

    getting offline for a bit, is about a much as I can take! LOL. Yangon is challenging because of the bad internet connection but I SURVIVED! So.. i am really not that bad. hahahah

    • Kenny January 16, 2013 / 8:04 pm

      Oh I can’t imagine you going a single day without any internet connection, dear. Not. Possible. *laughs*

  8. missyblurkit January 20, 2013 / 2:01 am

    FB is making us “distant” from our loved one and friends. Disconnecting FB to an extent is indeed good.

    • Kenny January 20, 2013 / 6:17 pm

      I find I disconnect from FB more and more. Some weeknights I come home and don’t bother to check my FB. Sometimes I ignore FB during the weekends too, and it’s incredibly refreshing. The question is how to fall back into the routine of FB-checking…

  9. rokh January 25, 2013 / 10:42 am

    So when we meeting up? Hehe

    • Kenny January 26, 2013 / 8:24 am

      Are you even back in Malaysia from some far-flung country? *chuckles*

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