Food for Thought with Debbie Frederiksen

May 10, 2011

By Debbie Frederiksen Today I was sitting by myself on an outdoor patio eating lunch, checking email on my phone, scrolling through tweets, when suddenly this quote from an article resonated, “What is a place if those who are physically present have their attention on the absent?” It was from Sherry Turkle, author of “Alone Together: Why We Expect More from Technology and Less from Each Other.” I immediately looked around and noticed the nearby apple blossoms, the warmth of the sun and the half eaten sandwich on my plate. I was in a public place, surrounded by people, yet so completely removed I couldn’t tell you what my food tasted like. Our smart phones provide us an instant accessibility to the world, and this is important in many personal and professional realms, but once in a while I think we need to give ourselves permission to take a break. The emails, tweets, Facebook posts and blogs will still be there when you’re done eating. So I put my phone away for the rest of the meal. It was liberating, and I went back to the office feeling refreshed. I sat down at my desk, quickly scanned a few more tweets and smiled when I read this timely posting, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.” Good advice. Can you name the movie? It’s “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” which was released in 1986 – a time when cell phones were the size of a large shoe box and you wouldn’t think of taking one to lunch with you.

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