Blog of the Week: Creating Space Between You and Your Device

Originally posted on June 23, 2015 by Imogen Ragone at imogenragone.com/blog.

Creating Space Between You and Your Device by Imogen Ragone

I was at the annual conference of the American Society for the Alexander Technique last week and a colleague* caught me texting. I was happy to see I was practicing what I preach in this instance!

I admit it. I love my devices – my iPhone, my iPad, and my computer! And I like to think my habits around using them are pretty good. I’m not permanently attached to my phone, and, from an Alexander “postural” point of view, I like to think I do pretty well most of the time.

Two things recently got me thinking, in different ways, about the space between me and my device – literally when I’m using them, and with regard to my attachment to them.

First, I was inspired by a lovely blog post by Alan Bowers, Touch and the Alexander Technique. Alan describes fingers touching the keys of a piano as they prepare to play – “There is a spatial response, an enlarged space between me and the piano, a lengthening and widening in my back.” This reminded me of a very different sort of keyboard I often have my fingers on (and in fact is the one I’m using to type this blog). Would this idea work at the computer too? I became aware of my finger tips touching the key pads and the space between the keyboard – in fact the whole computer – and me, just as Alan did at the piano. I also got a sense of an “enlarged space” and an expansiveness within me – a release from a slight contraction inward and toward the computer. While a musician has a different, and no doubt more intimate, relationship with his or her instrument than we do with our computers, the idea of being aware of the space between you and your computer is very useful, and seems to help mitigate our tendency to get “sucked into” it both mentally and physically.

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* Photograph by Lindsay Newitter.


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