A friend of mine does regular “no technology” days with his family. This means one or two scheduled days a week when they turn off all the computers, iPods, and the like, and go with the “old-fashioned”: books, peace and quiet, family time (anyone ever try this?).

I’ve admired the discipline it takes to do that.  He has nothing to do with the Amish, but simulates an “Amish” family environment (though they still leave the lights on).

It made me think about which common technology I’d be able to give up owning.  Of course Amish, to some degree or another, forgo or restrict all of these seemingly essential devices:

  • Television
  • Phone
  • Computer
  • Car

Working backwards…first and foremost, the computer stays: I’ll need it to keep this blog going 🙂 Too much communication, work, etc. flows through this thing, like it or not.

The car is too necessary (at least in North America), and frankly, gives me too much pleasure (country drives) to relinquish.

Old PhoneI’ve never been much of a phone-talker.  It may be that I prefer speaking face-to-face.  Maybe my arm just gets tired holding my dinky cell phone to my ear (though I guess there’s Bluetooth for that).  I’d almost choose the phone…but would probably hang on to it to stay in touch with family.

I actually don’t own a TV, so I guess I’d pick that by default.  I like the TV mainly for watching sporting events.  Soccer games are good excuses to get together with my brother (we both played), football with other friends.  However that hasn’t been enough to motivate me to own one.

I realize that with the melding and blending of technologies, this is not really a clear-cut question. The phone has migrated onto the computer, the computer to the smartphone, TVs have implanted themselves in cars.

But going by technology in its purest form, I’m thinking the car may be least-quittable.  That said, I can think of a couple of living situations where the car may be the easiest to forgo.

Which technology could you most easily give up?  Are there any others you’d consider “essential”, or close to it?

Old phone photo: duchessa/sxc.hu

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