I keep writing articles about unplugging and experiencing life because I need to remind myself to do it.
I play with the iPhone at the park. I will excuse myself at dinner to go to the bathroom (check my messages). I am guilty of being plugged in to the borg when I should be experiencing the wonder of my children.
So I write the articles about unplugging as an exercise. The technological addiction is passing on to my children. My youngest, 22-month old Charlie gets excited by the slightest glimpse of an iPad, iPhone or portable video player. He will swipe and swap between games and videos all day - if you let him.
So I write articles about turning off the power to try and bring the practice to my own life.
Lately the mantra has moved to bedtime stories as the new book, Goodnight iPad, has been woven into our night night routine.
Author David Milgram wrote the parody book under the pen name Ann Droyd. The classic original, Goodnight Moon, written by Margaret Wise Brown in 1947 gets a swift update as the quiet fireplace and toys are replaced by a raucous family that would rather play games, watch tv and read eBooks than go to bed.
Each device is eventually unplugged by a frustrated mother who curls up at the end with a simple flashlight and a copy of the classic before bed.
As with each night time tome, my sons and I play a game of "I Spy" with the illustrations in the book. They quickly identify all the technology and gaming gadgets while simpler things, like night stands and fireplaces go unnoticed.
It's time to unplug and get back to the simpler things, I keep reminding myself. Hopefully this book will help remind my kids too.
Goodnight iPad will be released on October 27, but is available for pre-order now."
I'm an iPhone user. I've been smug today at my BlackBerry friends having twitches as they stroke their keyboarded devices begging for some sort of love to be returned. But nothing is happening. And that's a good thing.
This BlackBerryout is teaching us the power of unplugging. It's teaching us to look up and see the wonderful world around us.
When Eric Schmidt, ex-CEO of Google, gave a commencement at The University of Pennsylvania in 2009 the advice he gave must have sounded odd coming from the head of one of the most influential companies on the web. What he told the students seemed to go against what his company believes in. He asked them to simply unplug and live an analog life.
Schmidt went on to urge the grads to "turn off your computers," and "discover all that is human around us."
Growing up in the 70s and 80s we were told by our parents to "turn off the idiot box." Now, it seems, youth are being asked to "turn off the information box."
Yes, the web is a place for learning and discovery. We make new and interesting connections everyday via Twitter and Facebook. But have you ever met any of these faceless avatars you come in contact with on the web? You can make true friendships with people online, but when it happens in real life that connection becomes so much richer.
It's these human interactions that Schmidt is urging. Instead of pressing send on a text, press send on a call and share your voice. Instead of picking up a controller and conquering a new level on a video game, pick up a ball and pair of shoes and run around a park.
In 2005, an ominous term was coined by author Richard Louv is his book Last Child in the Woods. In it he suggests that the increased lack of outdoor play by younger generations is creating what he calls a Nature Deficit Disorder.
The influence of technology is just one prong of Louv's theory that also blames parental fear on "stranger danger" and increased densification that's restricting childhood access to green space for the next generation's tendency to obesity and violent behaviour.
It's common sense really. Internet, video games, television, gadgets.. they're all great, but they need to be handled with care. Just last week I left my iPhone at home and forgot about it until I was halfway to work. It was oddly uncomfortable not to be able to check email at red lights or instantly call my wife when I needed to tell her something. I was unplugged for an entire day and it gave me the shakes like and addict trying to kick a habit.
And perhaps that's the lesson that needs to be learned, and what better season than summer to learn it.
Perhaps Louv is a little out in left field to call it a disorder, but Schmidt is more on the money when he simply urges us to unplug and discover.
Your BlackBerry doesn't work? Think of it as a good thing."
I was planning on writing a post about how the breast cancer movement has become over commercialized. Pink is persistent in the month of October found everywhere from the cleats of NFL players to the lapels of politicians. You can buy everything from hammers and hats to golf balls and travel mugs with the pink ribbon for breast cancer awareness and research proudly displayed.
But something is missing from this mass marketing of the pink ribbon - the awareness. The movement is supposed to remind women to check their breasts for abnormalities. The heightened publicity for the month of October is to remind you to watch your body and catch this disease early so it's not deadly.
That was my original thesis, anyway. And then I stumbled into a video that gets the spirit of what this movement is about.
Rethink Breast Cancer's Your Man Reminder is cheeky, fun and not about putting pink in every window, on every accessory and every athlete - it's about awareness. It's about prevention. It's about looking after yourself.
Celebrate the survivors and honour those who have passed with pink this month, but also remember to regularly give yourself a little T-L-C.
To be honest, I'd like to go back to the days when black and orange were popular for the season, not pink. Wouldn't it be great if our grand-kids just knew October as the month we celebrate Halloween and Thanksgiving?"