We Survived And Thrived On “Lose The Laptop Day”

December 17, 2010

Everyone at Fast Horse unplugged during business hours Thursday for our latest edition of “Lose the Laptop Day.”

That meant no computer, no Internet, no email, no texting, no tweeting between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. A gimmick? Sure. But we do it just to remind ourselves about the importance of getting out to meet people face-to-face.

So how’d it go? Allison Checco learned how addicted she’s become to checking her smart phone during any lull in activity.

Allison also experienced some in-person joy when she dropped off holiday gifts collected at our office at Cornerstone, an agency that combats domestic abuse. “The look on the kids’ faces who were helping collect donations in the lobby was priceless,” she said.

Did anyone cheat? I’ve heard rumors that a certain intern responded to a text. I also have an incriminating email in my inbox (sent at 1 p.m. Thursday) from a colleague.

Angela Davis and Jason DeRusha at WCCO TV

Angela Davis and Jason DeRusha at WCCO-TV are totally addicted to digital devices.

As for me, I stayed busy via “analog” meetings at WCCO-TV, St. Paul City Hall and MinnPost. I spoke with TV anchor Angela Davis, reporter Jason DeRusha, Mayor Chris Coleman and MinnPost’s Joel and Laurie Kramer.

Stuff I learned by hitting the road instead of interacting over email: Angela Davis uses a device that looks an awful lot like a pot pipe to spray on makeup. Mayor Coleman has taken up blues guitar and loves his new Fender Telecaster. Joel Kramer needs a haircut.

We’re not advocating back-to-nature escapism through “Lose the Laptop Day.” Instead, we’re reminding ourselves that in an increasingly digital age, there is still tremendous value in meeting people face-to-face.