In this age of digital everything it is nice to set my phone on the shelf, put on a pair of safety glasses and earphones, and work in my shop. I feel like I’m attached to my phone 24/7 and I can’t do anything without needing to document it and post it somewhere (Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat, whatever the next trendy social site is). (Follow me at @4xFredwilliams if you really want to.) But when I’m building or fixing something in my shop I need to unplug just to stay focused. The last thing I need is to break the phone or, worse, cut off a finger because I wasn’t paying attention to the job at hand.
The same goes when I’m wheeling. I’d way rather concentrate on staying on that line across those boulders or whether I am applying just the right amount of throttle and steering input to my rig and not whether my stupid phone is getting enough bars to “update my status.” I wish I could set it up with an automatic status: “I’m fine, out having fun. Talk to you Monday. If it’s an emergency leave a message.”
The fact is I see so many of us hog-tied to our devices and screens that it’s like we have forgotten how to have fun without documenting and posting that we are having fun. I wouldn’t be surprised if in the future there are exclusive resorts where you can pay top dollar to get away from social media and just enjoy being away from screens. But until that day I think we’d all be better off just powering down the laptops, dropping our phones in the toilet, and going out and playing with trucks. If you have kids, bring them along. Kids need to see that a world without screens is pretty awesome. Kids need to play in the dirt and so do adults. It’s the best thing for us.