The intensifying strive to have it all, be it all and do it all has created a society that is completely out of tune with itself. And while technology helps us accomplish so much, it can also isolate us and impair our connections to things that really matter.
Technology can make the search for happiness and balance a daunting task. Growing evidence suggests that many people feel repressed and detached from the world, and research shows that merely having a cell phone visible can make people less likely to develop a sense of intimacy and empathy during meaningful conversations.
While sophisticated technologies have opened up endless opportunities to control our environments and self-quantify, technology has become so big that we’ve lost a sense of real connection.
As LPK prepares to disconnect for Adventures in Analog, I reflect on the many roles technology plays in my life [sigh]. It serves as my teacher/mentor, personal assistant and connector. It allows me to get more done and do things better than I would have ever imagined, while collaborating with people that I otherwise may never have had the opportunity to work with. Technology has done for me exactly what it’s been developed to do.
So when our Creative Director Nathan Hendricks initially announced the idea for LPK Unplugged, my thoughts ran the gamut:
“What the heck? This is going to be funny to see people try to actually do this.”
Then, a quick moment of panic set in. “Wait, what am I going to do all day?” (Hence this write-up with a reflection on all that technology does in my daily life.)
Next, I moved into a phase of “Okay I get it. I’ve got plenty of other stuff I can do and this will be fun. It probably is good for me/us/LPK. We need to try this.”
And now, as the day draws near, I’m thinking about what I really need to do to be prepared. Let’s be real, I’m a strategist—I’ll identify the opportunity, structure my approach, yada yada yada … I’ve started a running list of the day’s activities. I’ll be fine. I’m collecting my “supplies” and making sure my watch is accurately set. It’s one day. I can do it.
“Disconnection” is about the search for meaning, not information. There’s a lot to be said for having a real conversation, hand-drawing a presentation outline and coming up with answers to questions on my own or through collaboration with my colleagues.
I understand the value of getting back to who we are, what we do and making real connections with ourselves and one another. I’m excited to participate. Because let’s face it, we could all take a little time to just go offline once in a while.
Have you ever unplugged? I’ll be plugging back in on Thursday—email me if you want to know how I survived, email@example.com.
Abby Hofmeyer is senior strategist at LPK who is passionate about digging into new projects and uncovering a deeper understanding of how and why things work. Building on her past experience as a fashion designer, Abby brings a unique perspective to branding and design with invaluable insights in the areas of fashion, beauty, retail and socio-cultural influencers and events. Abby has a BA in fashion design from the University of Cincinnati and an MPS in design management from the Pratt Institute with a focus on sustainable business practices. You can contact her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.