Could You Go Cold Turkey? Turn Your Back On Technology
Envisage a computer free culture with no digital stimuli
Picture a world without technology. No screens, no keypads, no internet. Does it make you sigh with unequivocal bliss or shudder in horror at the dark age-ness of it all? Would you get no-technophobia, non-digital dread or wifi withdrawal?
Dazed by digital, I still prefer to write than to type and admittedly with write a quill if I could. My blackberries go in pies and tablets help a Sunday hangover. My silver brick I had until recently was bigger than a scientific calculator but it did the job to call and text. And I never got over the novelty of flipping it open (yes, it was that old).
I hate my new smart phone, as it means people can see that I have read their message or email, but haven't replied instantaneously. Maybe I am eating dinner, having quality time on the loo, or just can't be a***d to message back at thumb speeds that create carpal tunnel.
But I am an anomaly, amongst other reasons, as a technophobe in this techno-mad era. We can connect with people across the globe at the click of a button. Phones are an arm extension and everyone's on Facebook, an instagrammer and twitter tw*t. The letter 'I' prefixes every noun in the dictionary and social media has exploded across the face of the internet.
Because of this technology boom, it is said the average working person now works an extra day a week. No wonder all these memes depict us living for the weekend. And with inexpensive devices easily purchased, work commitments mean owning two phones and two monitors can be considered standar. So should we pay attention to the madness and switch off. One company, The Digital Detox, thinks so. The San-Franciscan based company organises 'Device-Free Drinks' that only admit those prepared to hand in handsets at the door. Wonder how my old brick would go down?
And now British pair Lucy Pearson and Vikki Bates have sat up and taken note. Working in digital themselves, the duo have founded 'Unplugged Weekend' for those in need of techno-cold-turkey therapy. Targeting a regular tech audience, the retreat includes yoga, workshops and organic food. And guess what. No gadgets.
Bates and Pearson are definitely on to something. Having travelled in places 'with limited internet access' myself, the pleasure of seeing what was around me and not at the end of my arm was brilliant. I know in reality work efficiency calls for technology, but the romantic in me thinks we should at least de-digital for a while. Be it an hour, an afternoon or weekend. Create your own wifi withdrawal and turn it all off. It could do you the world of good.
And if you need to find me, I will be somewhere back in the stone-age, scratching away at a piece of parchment and cursing for want of a smart phone.