Disconnected : Day 0
Technology was catching up to us.
Now, we are trying to keep up with it.
I remember back in the days of just land lines and no mobile phones, no facebook and no internet for all. We spoke and laughed with people. We did things and didn't document every second of it in Instagram. We had fun, and we were genuinely happy.
The lonely people were genuinely lonely for understandable reasons.
No with a million different ways to stay connected, we have so many ways of being lonely. Conversations and laughter have become a luxury. Texts and LOLs typed out with straight faces have taken their place. We live in an era where we cut off a live conversation with a living breathing human sitting or standing across from us to speak to one who is connected to us via strange telephonic waves that I don't even comprehend the working of.
We text and smile at posts as we ignore those around us.
Yes, it does have its advantages.
We need never get lost, but I don't know the way to my friend's place anymore. Only my GPS does.
I have my sister on speed dial, but I don't know her number by heart anymore.
No message or mail need ever be erased, but that makes everything easy to forget.
General knowledge is at an all time low - cause Google knows it anyway, and we can "Google" it.
I can track my expenses on my phone, I can track my contact lens cycle on my phone, Hell, I even track my period on it! Meaning, without them, I no longer have a track of what and when.
We can dig up any documented information on anything. We can make payments, transfer money.
We need never be bored because our smartphones with expandable memories can store a great amount of videos, games and anything one might find interesting - how comfortable are people sitting still with their thoughts anymore? I realized I wasn't preferring it much myself! Why sit idle, when you can be occupied!
We can call anybody anytime. Yes, we can keep in touch with our near dear ones even from farther and farther! But this also makes us sometimes disregard their situation then, cause it's a personal phone and it's become the norm anyway.
*Norm is the researchers' abbreviation to refer to "Normal" behavior. We have, with the widespread usage of mobile phones, made rude behavior normal.*
Facebook ...don't even get me started on that!
We don't have to strictly stick to our schedules anymore as we can always call and cancel at the last minute. Some are more polite "Can I confirm by tonight?" for tomorrow's plan, made a week ago.
We can always be connected. The possibility of which has made us more fragmented than ever.
We wish, we celebrate, we even make love over the phones.
We can do so much. We can.
I do. Too.
I have a fairly fancy smartphone. I have numerous apps that assist my everyday living. I claim in makes life so much easier for me. I give a lot of these apps more access to my information than the logically require to function normally. I tell myself that it's a fair trade-off, for how they help me.
The question should be, is it worth it?
I am not contesting the usefulness of smartphones. No. I accept they are extremely useful.
I am contesting their importance in our lives.
Do they have to be so essential that their absence can incapacitate us?
That's exactly what I want to find out.
Despite my philosophical approach to it all, I do depend on my phone quite a bit. I'm constantly taking pictures, even rearranging food to make it look pretty before clicking it, and texting all the time, GPS, my apps and so on. I'm not as addicted as many (my dad for instance ;) ) but I do feel the need for, rather than just want it.
So now, I have decided to DO something that many hypothesize: We should just turn off our phones and find out how it is.
I'm going to do it, and find out what about just the idea of living without a handphone makes your friends go: "Are you, alright sweetie?" "Did something happen?" "Is someone stalking you?" and your acquaintances just simply go: "Are you crazy?"
Why does the simple act of living without a handphone seem like such an extreme decision?
I shall switch off my phone for 15 days and find out :) And you're welcome to my answers.