So, as life would have it, I’ve been offline for almost a month now. I don’t mean I’ve not had access to the internet at all. I’ve just not been an active member of the social media community. I mean, until this morning, I hadn’t tweeted for almost a month, my Facebook account has been deactivated for over two months, and I hadn’t posted anything here on WordPress since around the middle of May. This was the same with Instagram, LinkedIn, and Google +.
Yes folks, for over a month now, I’ve been “unplugged” from the social media matrix. And you know what? It’s actually been kind of awesome. I had totally forgotten what it was like to live life without constantly commentating on it. This is what life was like when I was growing up; the days before I became a slave to smart phones and social networks. I’m sure some of you don’t even remember the existence of such a prehistoric period. But I grew up at a time way before the current 98% mobile phone penetration we enjoy today. I didn’t get my first mobile phone till I was 19 and it was the size of a basketball player’s shoe. Nowadays I feel naked without my phone(s). Like most of you, spending a day without my phone is unfathomable.
I’ll be the first to admit it, technology is great and I love it, but I realised in the last few weeks I was offline that I miss certain things I experienced in my technology-less childhood. For instance:
I miss conversations with strangers on trains, planes, and/or buses. Nowadays people are glued to their phones/tablets and don’t want to be “disturbed”.
I miss going out to parties and events where everyone wasn’t in paparazzi mode taking pictures of any and everything, every second of the event.
Speaking of cameras, I miss film cameras. Remember those? We’d take pictures and not be able to see the photos till we developed the film. Going through the developed film was an event in itself.
I miss boundaries. Nowadays people share every single detail about themselves online. I saw a photo of someone’s period doing the rounds on twitter a few weeks ago. I mean really?
I miss how people would eat their food without feeling the need to Instagram it first. Wow, pasta bolognaise. Well cooked…I guess.
I miss the days when I didn’t have to talk to ex-schoolmates with whom I didn’t converse whilst at school. Nowadays I have to engage them in endless small talk on Facebook.
I miss people enjoying TV, sport, or movies without giving me minute-by-minute running commentaries on twitter for the sake of being relevant.
I miss those arguments/debates back when you couldn’t Google the answer in 0.14 seconds. Those of us who were loudest always won those arguments.
I miss having allocated email time. Nowadays every minute of the day is allocated email time.
I miss asking people for directions. These days everyone refers me to Google Maps.
I guess it’s that I miss being offline now and again. I think I just need to adjust my life settings to accommodate a healthy dose of “offline-ness” from time to time. But not too often coz then I’d just miss being online.
*just scribbling my offline thoughts*