On Independence Day, who was free from techno tyranny?

Readers tell us which device or application they took a holiday from

Editor's note: This story has been updated since its appearance July 1.

When in the course of holiday events, it becomes necessary for one workforce to dissolve the technological bands which have connected them with another 24/7-365 and to assume among the powers of Microsoft, Google and RIM, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature's God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of cubicle dwellers everywhere requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to separation from these gadgets that oppress them, for one three-day weekend at least. …

The Fourth of July holiday weekend means more than just barbeques, pool parties and fireworks. “Independence” is the operative word, of course. There is that matter of declaring independence from a colonial empire and taking the first steps toward becoming a democratic nation. But independence can mean other things as well, so we asked readers to expand it over the weekend to a declaration of independence from the 21st century technological tools that serve us but also, sometimes, oppress us.

That BlackBerry keeps you in touch with your office, but how often does it feel as if it is your master, rather than the other way around? Is a laptop PC your only constant companion? You can’t live without e-mail, but how often do you wish you could?

Say you’ve become enamored of Facebook or Twitter, spending your free time updating your profile or telling the world what you had for lunch. Do you really need to report that the fireworks were loud?

In the spirit of Independence Day, readers told us which technology tool, be it hardware or software, they would most like to take a holiday from, even if just for the weekend. Their responses appear in the comments below.


About the Author

Kevin McCaney is a former editor of Defense Systems and GCN.

Reader Comments

Tue, Jul 27, 2010 WOR

Gee, sorry I missed this- I was at my Grandparent's ranch, where there's a crackly landline and no cell phone reception. I did use the digital camera though.

Tue, Jul 6, 2010 Patrick Missoula, MT

I stay away from the office, turn of the main electronics switch at home, let the rechargeables discharge completely beginning Thursday. That way, nothing works no matter where I am.

Fri, Jul 2, 2010 Brian

I shall turn off my connection to the internet - except for two email checks, AM and PM. I will use my computer locally - home finance spreadsheets, photo image editing, and refactoring some perl scripts.

Fri, Jul 2, 2010 El Dorado Hills, CA

Lotus Notes: if your software is inferior to Microsoft, it's time to go into a different business.

Fri, Jul 2, 2010

All of it. I work in IT, so I am not against technology. However, it seems that nobody wants to do anything face-to-face anymore. It is all about the cell phone, the Twitter, the Facebook, the text message. Really, isn't it time for us to drop off the grid just once in a while? Who the heck cares what you are doing while you are sitting in your car in traffic. Certainly not I. While I have a cell phone in the car for emergencies, it is a pay-as-you-go phone. I don't carry a cell phone around on myself, and it is wonderful not to be a slave to it.

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