Yesterday I spent almost the entire day out of the house, away from screens, news and social media.
If you’re the outdoorsy type, this might not seem like a very big deal. But if you are an internet-addict-slowly-becoming-a-hermit person like myself — you may understand how big of a change spending even half a day away from screens can be.
I met a friend for coffee and then we hit a few vintage shops. We looked through rack after rack of cool vintage clothing, tried a few things on and ended up with a couple of fedora hats, rings and a necklace.
We picked up a rug and some pillows at a home decor store and then hit a barbecue joint for pan seared trout, pulled barbecue chicken, beans and fried okra.
Next we headed up the hill to my place to hang out on the back patio, listen to music (the Nick Drake station on Pandora is my new favorite thing) take pictures and talk about what we’ve been up to lately and some of the wild and hilarious things that have happened over the 27 years we’ve known each other.
She had to go — we shared a hug, waved goodbye and she drove away. I closed the door, opened my laptop, pulled out my phone and checked my marketing campaigns stats, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and then started reading the news on TMZ.
In a matter of minutes I went from having the best day I’ve had in a long time to feeling that little nervous anxiety you get when you go from phone screen to computer screen back to phone screen from site to site to site.
The change in the way I felt was so drastic that I noticed it, big time. I closed the laptop, put the phone down and walked back out onto the patio where I lounged on my newly bought outdoor pillows, put my feet up and watched the sun set.
“Remember”, I thought to myself. “Remember this feeling. Don’t let the screens suck you in and make you forget how much fun it can be to get out of the house, see a friend, get a cup of coffee and just walk around sharing a smile with strangers passing by”.
Most people that I know grew up before the internet existed. We talk about how, while we love the Internet and all the new technologies that have popped up over the last 20 or 25 years… we also miss the days when the only thing there was to do was go outside and make something happen.
Sometimes I think we all forget that we can refuse the strong desire to stare at screens all day and spend some time looking into each other’s eyes or just watching the clouds going by…
I wrote about it in a song that’s on my new album ‘STAR CHILD’ coming out in June, called ‘The Great Outdoors’. It goes like this:
The sun is shining in the Great Outdoors
Anytime you want it can be yours.
And it’s true.