I’m going to say one of those things you swear you will never say as you grow up – ‘When I was a kid…’ Actually I am not going to say it like that, but I am going to think it. What I really wish to say is ‘Remember the days when you could only be phoned in your home?’ The days before the mobile phone. Before the internet and interconnectedness.
I am harking back, because I am sitting in Cafe du Canard, sans phone, thinking about interconnectedness. With modern technology today it is possible to be essentially anywhere in the world and be connected to the rest of the modern world at the push of a button. It may be through a mobile (cel) phone or the internet.
Maybe, and particularly, in these current times of isolation being interconnected is a godsend for many, many people. I for one am super glad I can speak with my parents, an ocean away, easily. I WhatsApped them the other day and for the first time ended up speaking to them in their car as they took a much needed, sense of freedom drive about. Still, to me it was weird.
Now, I know I am becoming an anomaly. And that’s ok. But you see, I don’t have 4G, nor 3G or even 2G for that matter. Oh sure, my well out of date phone has some sort of ability to connect to the ether, but I have not turned it on. Actually I think my contract doesn’t even allow for it. And I chose it that way.
Why? Because although I do love and make use of interconnectedness, I choose to sometimes ‘switch off’. To be out of reach. I consider myself lucky to remember the days when to be reached, the only way was for you to be inside your house and hear your phone ring. Now, I don’t actually hark back to those days, but I am glad I remember them.
And I am geeky enough and love technology enough to like where we are today. But, and this is a big but (okay now that song is in my head), I also love choosing not to be connected. The weird thing today is it feels weird to go ‘sans’. And that in itself is weird when you sit down and think about it.
It is not difficult at all, for me, to go into the garden without my phone. And thus far we do not have wifi available outside the house. So without one of those Gs and lack of wifi, even if I take my phone, I am only connected via, well, a phone call. And honestly, these days, who phones on a phone? (Except bots and telemarketeers.)
We are planning to get our wifi boosted into the garden. And after reading the above you are probably thinking what!?. I know, sometimes I do too. It’s just I love love love to work outside, and that includes my office work. There is something so special about being able to sit out in the sunshine (or undercover in the rain) and be able to do what I need to do for my job.
And a good part of that job includes needing to connect via the internet. (Well given my work is having online shops, um, yeah.) At the moment, I still do take my laptop outside to work, it’s just not connected. All my work that can be done on this glorified typewriter, like writing or editing photographs, is taken outside. Then I have to come inside to upload and undertake all the other work I need to do that requires interconnectedness.
I will both love and dislike (though not hate) the day when we bring wifi into the garden. The trick I know to making it work, at least for me, is knowing when not to connect. When to turn it off, or quite simply not use. A strange concept today, but makes for a surprisingly blessedly quiet time, at least in the mind. It truly does.
So here’s a challenge. Next time you go outside, don’t take your mobile (or cel) phone with you. See if you notice or think about it. And if you do, does that make you uncomfortable, or do you prefer always being available to others or connected to the universe? I would be curious to know.