Arti from Ripple Effects asked an interesting question in a comment on my last post Back to Blogland:
I’m very curious to know how you felt during this tech-free hiatus, loss of connections, or the opposite: more autonomous and independent?
Well, I have a confession to make: At the end of each day, I glanced through my mails on my iPhone, using 3G, so I wasn’t completely disconnected.
Theoretically, if I were super-committed, I could have used the slug-like slow connection to catch up with my blogs, make posts even. But being me, I fell asleep long before I could muster the patience to do it.
That said, however, I was surprised I didn’t miss the internet too bad. Perhaps because I was busy, engaged with demanding non-internet projects. But the whole thing has left me quite empowered: it has cut through the fog of Facebook, Twitter, Blogging and surfing that I sometimes cloak myself in.
But I’m still struggling to get back to reading, most of all to writing, let’s see how that goes. For the moment there are too many things to do in a day, and not enough time to sit my butt down.
That will change, I hope. Soon.
Gladys, a long and thoughtful response as usual. It is a very different perspective from mine, and I’m grateful you took the time to share it. I applaud your efforts and success with technology…I wish I could get some of my relatives on the cell-phone at least.
I hope I have half the zest for life and perspicacity as you if I’m blessed with your age and experience.
Interesting, both what you say and what others are saying here. As for myself, I have a growing reality of how out of touch I am with life as lived by most people in today’s world, both those who use all the latest means of communication and those I live amongst. For me tweet and twitter is what birds do (plus a few old ladies who tend to talk to themselves), I find it hard to understand the workings of web sites, although I have eight to play around with — plus facebook and My Space. I am still slowly learning. Our only mobile phone is absolutely basic and only used when on holiday — as reception here is a bit hit and miss, it is necessary to use the landline anyway. To get in touch I send emails but not all family and friends have computers so snail mail is still essential. With continual loss of family and friends, my own circle gets smaller year by year. Grandchildren likely think we are quaint oldies. We live some distance from any city and we tend to live a more rural life in our old market town. I could not write a contemporary novel if I tried! I am not familiar with the language or the social-sexual freedom of ‘moderns’. When I was young, I always thought I would grow old gracefully! But nothing graceful about it — diseases of the aged are crippling! The mind is young but the brain does not always co-operate. To be in touch with one’s own thoughts and feelings is a deadly preoccupation, which is best avoided — easier said than done! Since it takes longer to do anything, time flies by and little seems to get achieved. ‘Team-work and collective wisdom’ mainly exists for me within my home setting. As more of our friends, family and contemporaries die and some become housebound and maybe preoccupied or senile, my world shrinks. Finding others of like-mind is not easy. Quiet solitude is sometimes thrust upon us, as much as sought after. Being busy-busy can be, for people like me, a cover-up for lack of inspiration — or maybe just a need to drown out an inner loneliness of thought.
Sherry Turkle’s book Alone Together observes that we’re more connected than ever, and with that comes the new virtue: collaboration. Well, it sounds good. But my view is that, perfunctory collaboration just might lead to the loss of independent thinking. While team-work and collective wisdom may be more preferable today, I still believe in the value of quiet solitude. Before collaborating, one must first be in touch with one’s thoughts and feelings. I trust your tech-free hiatus has provided you with such quiet moments. That is why I’m very curious to know what you think of Turkle’s findings (my current post) from your own experience. 😉
Arti, I’ll head over to your blog and post a reply 🙂
Well, I can certainly empathize with you on not having enough hours to do what you’d like. It’s a trying thing, and wears one thin.
Yes, it does, Darc, and I know you know all about it. I’ve seen how things are busy at work for you…I read your blog through FB, but am sorry have been a shameless lurker. Will comment more often.
Try to be as kind and understanding toward yourself as you would no doubt be to others. You’re a writer, so the writing will come. It’s good to see you back.
Thanks, for the kind words. I will. Just that writing in my head all the time may not be healthy either :). Just need to find the time to sit myself down!