Walter R. Franklin, 63, director of interactive services at the Cotton & Co. ad agency in Stuart, sits in front of a 27-inch iMac monitor 10 hours a day.
His iPhone is a lifeline for the other 14 hours. He disconnects on Saturday mornings by learning the intricacies of fly rod casting on Hutchinson Island in Martin County. Franklin says the focus is on muscle control and movement rather than on intellectual acumen. “A sense of competition against oneself evolves as the number of successful casts increases. Going from one successful cast out of 20 to one out of 10 provides a feeling of accomplishment.”
Recently back home after taking the red eye from Las Vegas, Cheryl Whitman, founder of Beautiful Forever Aesthetic Business Consulting, took the day off to decompress from a business trip.
Whitman, who founded her consulting firm 15 years ago, helps physicians add aesthetic services to their existing medical practices. She balances a heavy travel and lecture schedule with webinar training and phone conferences for clients from her Parkland home office — an extension to her home with a separate entrance.
Sometimes disconnecting is as simple as putting her BlackBerry in another room so she doesn’t see the message light flashing, or not plugging in her laptop. Basics like a nutritious (pescatarian) meal, a glass of wine and relaxing with family fit the bill.
“It’s hard to unplug. You definitely get addicted, so I try to take care of myself.”
For Whitman, 52, being able to take a phone call on the deck by the pool overlooking the lake helps.
Sun and Games
Slade Sundar, 30, is a self-described “tech addict” who admits he might be overconnected. He has a computer in his kitchen, bedroom, even the garage (for when he’s working on his car). He has 24/7 access to his computer files no matter where he is. He stays connected socially and professionally through Twitter, Facebook and multiple e-mail accounts.
When it’s time to unplug, Sundar, director of digital communications for the Community Foundation for Palm Beach and Martin Counties, likes to lose himself in video games. He prefers solo play to multiplayer/online games, and complex strategy. His current favorite: “Prototype.” “It’s something that’s so complex. You have to focus. It really sucks me away from the world.”
When he really wants to unplug, Sundar hits the beach, just two miles from his home. He likes to swim out far and just float, and think. “I feel like I need to mentally tell myself that it’s OK to do nothing,” he says.