TechnoStress in the Sauna
The other day after my workout, I headed to the sauna to savor some quiet time to detox and unwind. Shortly after I got settled in to my warm cocoon and a meditative state, another woman came in to do the same, or so I thought. Wrapped in her terry cloth robe, she immediately reached into her pocket, pulled out her smartphone and began texting away.
My contemplative nirvana was disrupted as my mind began to wander to curious thoughts like:
“What is so important that she has to bring her cell phone into the sauna?”
“Is her phone going to be affected by the 150 degree temperature in here?”
“Why do I have to be exposed to cell phone radiation while I am trying to detox?”
So, I asked her: “Will your phone be ok in the sauna?” hoping that my question would nudge her to explain why she had to have a smartphone in the sauna! This did open up a conversation where I learned she was a Social Worker “on call” at the local long-term care facility and had to respond to any emails or texts immediately.
It was also an opportunity for us to converse about technostress, Facebook depression and Twitter anxiety. Beads of sweat started to form and she excused herself with a promise to take a smartphone sabbatical next time she came to sauna.
When I stepped out into the locker room, a sign prominently displayed read: Please refrain from cell phone use in the spa so guests can enjoy a peaceful experience. Three women, all different ages, were getting ready for their workout, each one multi-tasking with smart phones in hand texting away.
I got dressed, leisurely walked to my car, and there on my dashboard, my purple smartphone smiled up at me.