If the leaders of some of Silicon Valley’s most prolific tech companies are encouraging people to “get offline,” you should listen. Matt Richtel of the NYTimes.com recently wrote, “Silicon Valley Says Step Away From The Device” and quoted executives from Facebook, Google, and Twitter encouraging unconnected time away. Grubwithus co-founders, Eddy Lu and Daishin Sugano, figured this out a long time ago. The addictive nature of technology has altered the way people socialize and interact with others. Gone are the days of meeting a group of friends without iPhones, crackberries, iPads, or any other device that connects, sitting on the table or awkwardly stuffed in one’s pocket.
Eddy and Daishin have pushed the “in real life” movement for quite some time. Recognizing that everyone needs a few hours away from their Facebook feed, why not use that time away to establish meaningful relationships with other like-minded people?
It’s really all about balance. Clearly the Googles and the Facebooks of the world would like nothing more than their users to be logged in 24/7 because online equals dollar signs. BUT, the realization that online all the time might be destructive and crippling is a very possible long-term effect that may impact how we engage with technology going forward. At Grubwithus, we clearly rely on technology to make a buck, but through that reservation we are guaranteeing our users 2 hours of offline enjoyment IRL. Also known as: forced balance.
A few key takeaways we fully support and will be printing, framing, and hanging around our office:
“People ‘need to notice the effect that time online has on your performance and relationships.’” –Stuart Crabb, Facebook
Speaking about turning her cellphone OFF “It’s almost like a reboot for your brain and your soul…It makes me so much calmer when I’m responding to e-mails later.” –Padmasree Warrior, Cisco
“If people can find time to occasionally disconnect, ‘we can have more intimate and authentic relationships with ourselves and those we love in our communities.’” – Richard Fernandez, Google
Some in the Valley argue that “the powerful lure of devices mostly reflect[s] primitive human longings to connect and interact…” and they are not wrong. The issue is not the convenience or connectivity these devices have brought to our lives but rather the dependence on them all day, everyday. We’re pretty sure no good can come from staring at a Facebook news feed for more than a few hours. Why not live life a bit and create content for your Facebook news feed to share with others who haven’t gotten the offline memo?
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