It’s time to put my actions where my big mouth goes! I’m taking a much needed cyber break. At close of business tonight through Sunday night I pledge to stay off the internet, and cell phone. I don’t even own or want a smart phone, but will admit to lusting after iPad 2.

Julie Anne Rhodes turning priorities right side up
I want to concentrate on giving my sister, brother-in-law, and favorite (even if they are the only) niece and nephew my undivided attention while they visit LA. I trust the rest of the cyber world will quite happily survive without me for forty-eight hours.
For the record – I am NOT saying modern technology is bad. The internet provides powerful tools for maintaining communication with those that are otherwise too geographically far, we have an infinite wealth of information literally at our fingertips, plus we can market our businesses to potential customers with a much broader reach at much less expense. The internet even empowers people in remote villages to be part of the world economy in ways we never dreamt possible before. The benefits are far too important to dismiss (and counter productive for someone about to launch an interactive website)!
Is the computer helping or hindering your communication?
However, if like me, you can not turn the tech off long enough to eat a meal, if it is interfering with your personal relationships, and usurping all of your time, then it becomes a barrier rather than a conductor for communication. I’m merely suggesting balance. Too much of anything, even a good thing, is not good for you. We need water to survive, but you can actually drown yourself if you drink too much of it! By all means drink, but know when your thirst is quenched and stop. Technology should enhance our lives, not rule them.
With my favorite niece and nephew
Feel free to leave comments on your thoughts and related experiences, and know that I will catch up with you when I can. Instead of a recipe today, I’ll leave you with some food for thought. My friend Marie sent me this beautiful email after my last post about the subject…
“We ALL need to break the habit and have some free time. We can not tune into our Spiritual self if we don’t take time out to listen to the still small voice! The one thing I loved about being in Ireland was that I hardly spent any time on the computer, I was too busy sitting on the beach watching the waves crashing in against the rocks and never ceasing to be amazed at the glory of the sun setting over the sea and the mountains. There is one thing for sure and it is the old saying that the best things in life are free, we all have them on our door step but the problem is that we spend too much time on the wrong side of the door.”
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  • March 5, 2011
    5:57 am

    It's an extremely good idea to take a technology break every so often. I've taken a few throughout the year (though sometimes they are forced on me) and I always come back feeling refreshed and happy and connected with the only people that really matter to me. I'm pretty sure you're going to feel the same way!Hope your weekend is splendid 🙂

  • March 6, 2011
    8:41 pm

    There is so much good to do and that it can be used for so much good. We do struggle with balance sometimes. Thanks for posting!Anyways, my wifes name is Annette (pastors wife)and she just opened her blog to public setting as she wants to be an encouragement and blessing to people (she is also hoping to do giveaways). I was trying to be an encouragement to her by asking if you would be willing to swing by and say hi as she does not know many people in the blog world? Thank you for considering. Her blog is You,Rodney(Annette's husband)

  • March 7, 2011
    2:52 am

    I spend holidays without computer and it was great though I missed friends and some readings.Go on and enjoy time with your family!!!Have a wonderful and special weekend!!!!XXXMariFer Cruz Ortega

  • March 7, 2011
    2:53 am

    The only thing I take on holiday with me is my camera for lots of great pics also I always turn off my phone when I spend quality time with the family/friends I love and care about.Hope you have a fab time this weekend with all the family/friends you love and care about. Look forward to catching up with you soon JulieAnne xDebs Everill

  • March 7, 2011
    5:03 am

    Thank you for writing this piece! I was feeling absolutely horrible by not having a new post up for Sunday along with some new paintings. But, I'm trying to organize a move, get things packed, set a pile aside for the dump, a pile of things to sell another pile for the charity shops. This all takes work & a lot of time. But, I was going to try to paint until I virtually collapsed on a chair knowing that I couldn't do it. That plus your blog made me realize that I need to put some limits on my computer time. I watched an hour of television Saturday nite before bed, & I enjoyed it. Scary! Now, I don't intend to turn into television junkie, but I do think that I need to moderate my ways. The new bedroom will include a reading corner, a comfy chair, side table to hold a cup of tea and a good lamp for reading. I plan to take some "me" time each nite to read just for the joy of reading. Technology has a double ended sword – it can benefit you and it can hurt you deeply. Learn to use it in proper moderation or you become a slave to it. I hope you enjoyed your weekend away from the cyber world and spent quality time with your wonderful family celebrating your birthday. What could be more special or more meaningful than being with your family on a special day? Happiest of birthdays Jewels! May you celebrate many more and here's hoping all your dreams come true. [[[cyber hugs]]]

  • March 7, 2011
    11:39 am

    That's an inspiring thing to do Jewels! I try to do that on weekends but am lured back here and there. I think I'll commit to it because you're right we need balance.Cupcakexo

  • March 7, 2011
    6:10 pm

    The iPhone hinders my child's communication with me. I swear she is addicted to it.Lisa Van Ore Thompson

  • March 7, 2011
    6:18 pm

    Help but not exactly phone that i rarely answer, hinders my communication. Unless of course it's familyCarly Guerrero

  • March 7, 2011
    6:20 pm

    Both!!…LOL…My kids only answer me when I text them…ANNOYING!!Tabatha Mueller

  • March 7, 2011
    7:40 pm

    So how did you do this weekend? I was about 90% successful. I made a few e-mail checks. But I stayed away from Facebook and Twitter and didn't waste any time with random surfing, so I feel like it was a success, more or less.Kathy

  • March 7, 2011
    7:44 pm

    Those things are huge!Jan Hohenstein

  • March 7, 2011
    7:45 pm

    It has really helped. I connected with old friends that I thought I'd never find.Suzanne P Voelker

  • March 7, 2011
    7:52 pm

    It was a relief to be cyber free for the weekend, although tempting when I was alone. I thoroughly enjoyed my family (they did appreciate my undivided attention), and I used the time alone to be soooooooo much more productive than when I have a million distractions from messages popping up continually.

  • March 7, 2011
    10:46 pm

    FB was great for that @ SuzanneCarly Guerrero

  • March 7, 2011
    10:46 pm

    OH lovelyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyyy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!Giuliana Iannotta

  • March 8, 2011
    4:26 pm

    Loving this: "the best things in life are free, we all have them on our door step but the problem is that we spend too much time on the wrong side of the door."Seb Zar

  • March 8, 2011
    4:26 pm

    I know – Marie said it perfectly!

  • March 9, 2011
    1:54 pm

    So happy to have found this blog! I am Canadian, love to cook, try new things, vegetarian… my husband is from England and has English tastes… boiled, deep fried and plain! These recipes are the perfect solution for me (because they are tasteful, creative and good for you) and my husband and girls (getting him to try real food and satisfy my girl's love of tasty meals) Love sharing cooking and baking with them too so these will be perfect. Your daughter is stunningly beautiful and sounds like such a calm, sweet and polite girl! Any advice on parenting would be more than welcome too (my girls are 3 and 5) Thank you a million times over for sharing your talents

  • March 25, 2011
    6:27 pm

    I turn off all my computer oriented things and turn the volume off on my cell phone around 8pm each night. I need the break since i use the computer for artwork nearly all day long. My eyes suffer from the constant use and i notice how dizzy i feel for quite some time if i don't take many many breaks. We weren't meant to live life through this medium. They are fantastic pieces of invention to make life easier, but as you pointed out Jewels, too much of a good thing is just TOO much.P.S. I am not so secretly lusting after the iPad 2…..