Offline

While we were on holiday I went offline. For five days.

I wouldn’t describe myself as an IT addict but I definitely feel a need to be ‘connected’. I’m reasonably active on Facebook, I’m (begrudgingly) on Linked In and I have three Twitter profiles and two blogs. I like being in touch with my family, friends and professional contacts. My job is entirely web and e-mail based, so I spend a significant amount of time at a computer. I have an iphone so even when I’m away from my laptop, I can still keep tabs on things.

I didn’t deliberately plan to go offline. We stopped at a service station on the way to Center Parcs I automatically pulled my phone out of handbag to see if I’d had any messages. For the first time in as long as I could remember, I didn’t feel an urge to check my e-mails, Facebook or Twitter. I waited until we had arrived safety at our lodge and I turned my phone off.

Dh is pretty much wedded to his android phone and I figured that if anyone needed to get hold of me they could contact him. In a dire emergency our families knew where we were staying so could get a message to us. Anything else could wait for a few days.

I didn’t miss my phone at all. In fact, I felt oddly liberated without it. In any case, we were so busy that I didn’t have any time to play even if I had wanted to. I was too busy chucking myself down the water slides and leaping about with R and G to catch up on Facebook or Twitter!

I turned my phone back on just before we left on the Friday and even then I didn’t feel an urge to catch up on anything. As it turned out I hadn’t missed anything at all, aside from a pregnancy announcement on Facebook and that was easily rectified.

I don’t think I could be without my phone for so long in London. Something about living in a city reinforces my need to feel connected. I suspect that if I lived in the country I wouldn’t be quite so reliant on my mobile. Something about the countryside and animals and…nature stuff…makes me feel that the internet isn’t as important, somehow.

Connectivity is a self-feeding beast. You’re online so you Tweet or write a status update or blog. You get a response so you’re encouraged to write more and more and you’re sucked into the ‘If you’re offline you’re missing out’ trap. Normally I like this but I enjoyed living without it for a few days.

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One thought on “Offline

  1. It’s hard for me to go offline. Recently, however, we visited friends out in the desert who had recently turned off the cable and Internet (they were getting ready to close the house up for the season). My kids were openly upset! No TV, no iTouches, no nothin’. I, too, felt a bit off but kept that to myself. The first 24 hours were challenging as we all felt withdrawal but remarkably we lived! The kids played outside, the adults talked and read. It was a great experience.

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