I just spent a few days without cable tv, computer, cell phone or regular phone. Wrong, I had them all within reach. None of them working though. The internet was down, there was no cell reception, and even our land line was dead, All due to a brief local power outage the other day that managed to blow out our service. Our service to connect with the outside world.
I didn’t mind being without internet. It felt healthy to take a break from checking e-mails, Facebook, Instagram etc. It felt strange at first I have to admit, to not reach for my phone every so often to check the status of the outside world. I realized it was like breaking a bad habit. It was really hard the first day, got a little easier the second, and by the third day I felt it was a relief.
I didn’t check what was happening on Facebook or on any other social media, not only because I couldn’t but by now I didn’t have the need to reach for my phone throughout the day. I used those moments in real life instead, and it was refreshing. The family spent time talking, and enjoying each others company more. I read and listen to music a lot. Something I don’t take enough time to do when I am able to be connected with the outside world, or lost in a tv show. One day was spent hiking and swimming together with a friend. I was IN the present, and it felt amazing.
There was one thing though that I did miss during those days. The regular telephone service. What if someone actually needed to reach me? One of my sons was out-of-town, I have family abroad, and what if something would happen to them? What if something happened in our house and I needed to call? What if there was an emergency? All my what if’s were unfounded. Nothing happened. All my loved ones were safe after the few days of no connection.
Actually, one thing did happen. I now choose to turn my gadgets off more often. I don’t need to be available 24/7 and I don’t need to check in with other people constantly either. I can live a life in the here and now instead. Now it’s up to me when I want to use the modern services that we do have. It is always easier when you have a choice. Now I choose to write to connect with the outside world, with You who are reading. I still want to be a part of the modern world.
Only sometimes I now pretend that it is still the 80’s. All I have on those days is a land line to make and receive phone calls, and a pen and paper to write an actual letter. A nostalgic thought more than a reality. I do love the new technology after all, as long as it doesn’t consume me. From now on, I won’t let it. How about You?