What did I do when I was cut off
I’ve read interesting accounts of people choosing to abandon technology for a day or a week or a month…. and wondered how I would get on were I to try that. Recently, I was given such an opportunity, and not by choice. I found myself without tv and internet access. How did I manage?
- Other media and communication devices were called into service. My next phone bill will be greeted with much trepidation. However, I didn’t turn to the radio. I must confess never having been a radio person. Listening to the spoken word for an extended period of time without a conversational format just isn’t me. It’s probably the reason why I’ve never taking to podcasting. I listen for about 30 seconds and then find myself wishing I could have a transcript of the content that I could scan-read before deciding whether or not to read the material fully.
- Paper newspapers were read. Broadsheets allow a wide area to scan that a computer screen doesn’t. There is much less offline-equivalent linking and clicking taking place with newspaper reading than with screen reading. Also, I tend to read the opening paragraph of a newspaper article and then scan the rest of the story, whereas on-line I tend to read the headline then scan-read the contents. The opening paragraph doesn’t seem to carry as much weight.
- I made an impulse-trip to another country. Oh, the joys of living in a city with an international airport. I might regret this one when the next credit card bill comes in. Last-minute flights aren’t cheap. But I had a charming day out.
- Mental notes of (free) wireless hotspots around the city are unreliable and need to be written down.
- The housework actually got done.
- I had a considerable number of blog postings and news items awaiting reading when I logged back in. How many of those will be read? Is it interesting to read news items several days after they were newsworthy?
Ultimately, I managed fine. I grew up without technology and know I could live without it – for a limited period of time only, and to a certain extent only.
How cut off was I really? During my “cut-off” period, I still made use of a phone. That flight could not have been booked without technology. Much computer-based work could (and was) done offline. I discovered and made ample use of a wireless hotspot 8 mins walk from where I live. Ultimately, I wasn’t really cut off at all.
To be really cut off I need to ditch everything that is technological. I need to do a Lance Ulanoff. Now, that sounds like hardship!