If you read my blog, you may have noticed a lack of activity for the last weeks. I was not ill neither did I retire. I simply went offline. I needed to go back to my life before social media and smartphones took over and realized it was time for me to switch off. I was getting exhausted of being connected 24/7 and the fact that if you don’t answer a phone call or reply to an email or text immediately, you feel as if you are letting people down when in reality you are letting yourself down as your time off is no longer about you and your space but it is somehow controlled by others and the online world. When the chance came over Christmas to get a new smart watch; meaning phone calls, emails and messages directly on my wrist -so I never miss one- I had to say no to a new gadget and oh boy do I love gadgets and technology!
I was born offline and this is the world I belong to, the one I love and the one I enjoy. The online world no longer felt exciting or rewarding but the good thing is that you can leave it when you like at no notice. That is just what I did.
No wifi and I like it
Switching off was wonderful in order for me to switch on again and even though I’m back online, my personal Facebook account is still off. I thought it would be temporary but it is now pretty permanent. Out of the 3 social media accounts I run, it was the one that felt more 2004 and less 2016, the one where people post the least interesting facts, videos, photos and information. The pouting selfies, the “news” that are not news but random thoughts, the obnoxious narcissist posting a new outfit, the inspirational quote militants who the only thing they inspire you to do is to block them… I could go on and on. It wasn’t fun and it wasn’t interesting so without having to announce it in an status update, I simply went offline. Facebook can do without me and I definitely can do without Facebook.
Do you miss the beach or your phone?
Technology has brought us many joys and pleasures, but just like any good medicine, it has bad side effects so you better take it only when you really need it and in small doses if possible. These are just a few side effects
- Human interactions are suffering. They are becoming dysfunctional. We interact more with our devices and online than with fellow human beings and the offline world.
- It is creating far too many “online socialites”. These are the people who are extremely friendly and extremely good at online relationships but meet them in person and you will meet a human being incapable of relaxing, incapable of having time off. A sunset is no longer a sunset but an Instagram picture of a beautiful sunset.A conversation is no longer an exchange of thoughts and observations but a picture of what you ate, drunk and where you met.
- Memories are not stored in our hearts and minds but in social media, or in your smartphone camera roll. Not sure about you, but growing up in the 80’s and 90’s -and just like any kid- I did loads of crazy stuff and guess what? There is no record of it anywhere. That’s how I like it. The memories are all in my heart and mind, not on my Facebook or Instagram timeline. No one has to comment or like what I did or didn’t do, it’s my life and it’s private.
- The Internet is controlling us. But it should be the other way round. You should be the one in control of your online life. Are you using your devices and the Internet to improve your daily life or are they taking over your life? Do you wake up and enjoy the peace and quiet of the early morning to think and reflect on the day ahead or do you turn on your tablet and open Facebook ? I believe when you do the second, the day ends up being stressful and pretty unproductive, but do the first, and you will notice a big change. You feel better, happier, more open,more relaxed.
So if you are starting to feel as if you are living online more than offline, I highly recommend you to switch off in order to switch on again. If you are the president of the United States, I get it you need to be connected all times. For a mere mortal, no point really. Enjoy life and live it to its fullest cause there is only one and it is an offline one.