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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!

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and so this is Christmas….

… and what have we done, another year over…

No, really, seriously, what have we done??

This is the downside to this time of year. The student work has all been marked and filed away for a fortnight, the classroom’s locked up and everyone goes there merry way for a little while. The self-reflection on achievements (or lack thereof) for the year kicks in.

Now, I’m not going to bore you with my own self reflection but this time of year make me wonder. Time just marches on and on and relentlessly on. It’s 2009 in a few weeks, the end of the first decade of the new century. Back in 2000 did you think you’d be where you are now – and I dont mean up to your elbows in holly and tinsel literally right now.

What’s changed for me is the connectivity. Back in 2000 there was no Facebook or MySpace, no electronic chatrooms. The only people living abroad that I knew were relations or friends who had emigrated. Now, electronic tools keep me in easy touch with the world at large, I’ve got e-friends who have come to be important to me, yet I’ve never actually met them.

What’s next??  What will the next 3 or 5 or 10 years bring?

There you go, something to ponder while you relax after over the few days off work that’s called Christmas.