A Break from Virtuality

by Mallary Tenore Tarpley

I took a road trip across the state to Cocoa Beach this past weekend for a get-together with young journalists in the Chips Quinn scholar program. I didn’t want to have to worry about checking e-mail or updating social networking sites, so I left my laptop at home and didn’t check my e-mail all day Saturday or Sunday. I came back feeling relieved that I had taken a virtual break; it felt good to spend more time with a book than with a computer screen.

When checking my e-mail and browsing through some news Web sites Sunday evening, I came across a New York Times essay by Mark Bittman called “I Need a Virtual Break. No, Really.” I think most people, especially tech-savvy younger folks, can relate to this article’s message. Sometimes, we just need to step away from the screen and into the outdoors. That’s where the stories are, that’s where people are, that’s where we learn what life is like beyond the confines of our inner worlds.