It’s amazing how even propose to do “crazy” to disconnect when, 15 years ago, was not optional but mandatory. Check road signs instead of programming the GPS; rummaging in his pockets looking for some “loose” while we locate a cabin; the bitter swill of asking everyone down a street and ultimately stick with you while you tell stories of that place that you look desperate.
Vale: things are now much easier. But that does not mean that before were impossible. What about the reverse? Is it impossible to live a totally disconnected holiday?
A few days ago I proposed a sort of analog retirement. For the brave. Because before planting a foot on the ground I had already revised mytimeline of Twitter. Because if I did tracking of an offer on Amazon and warned me at 3 am, I got up to process the purchase. Because it was not able to wait to bring the starter without skimming before the ingredients, its etymology, the note on trip advisor restaurant and alternatives to Instagram presentation. And eat with your mobile on the table, of course. And you could already ask me if I liked that, that was before respond to WhatsApp chat groups and Slack.
No, if you send the horn 4G, Spotify or Facebook, do not you become a romantic letters or gives you to hear Shostakovich on a turntable. Nor breathe better or grow your hair. You just feel uncomfortable, anxious, sickening not be part of that circus we have built together and that both distracts us. Because we do not make happy: happiness is not a matter of megs on the mobile fee.
Internet is as real as Punting, as any memory. What comes now is not a guide to survive outside of that all-connected-world around us. It is a reflection: you can return to the 80, to the analog alternative, without the wildcard Wikipedia, eating anything, without idiots gifs or urgent emails that are not so. And you do not see how good it feels.
Day one: why take such a stupid decision?
I took 15 days warning that will not be available. That, I’m sorry, but I have a “family commitments” (lie) and will be in an area with no coverage or data. And the first thing I do is to unpack search for mobile. Because yes, I brought a mobile hotel: an old brick carrying unused several moves that have gotten you a SIM with the minimum balance they asked me to open line. Anyway, the number of this idiot phone only have two: my wife and a friend with whom I stayed.
After reviewing the facilities, the quality of my room and watch cars through the window, I start to feel uncomfortable. This was not a good idea. What do I do here? Okay, I’m on vacation, but it will not work. It is no longer about being the day of the billboard, it is that my whole world seems built on the foundations of a smartphone. So I go out to the street. As my grandmother I would say: give me the air.
If he had at least escaped to a place known you could chat with old friends who find. I do not know anyone here. Neither I wanted to cheat and schedule tourist spots to visit or events to attend. So that anywhere they give away maps. I’m in Alicante with mapping the past. The trip has left me cheap. Whatever happens from now will be like a road movie desktop.
The first perception I have is something that brings me back to childhood: scrutinizes everything with new eyes, more attentive. Time goes slower, or think faster. I read all the posters. Pay attention to accents of passersby. And I see as a very high percentage does not take off his eyes from the screen. I could run naked and very few would know. Although they would throw photos.
Day Two: No big deal
Last night I had dinner the worst drm the world. My plan was to spend the afternoon at the beach, make time and visit a lighthouse painted red. But I met some Brazilians who were along the coast from end to end and just lost, on a track, with some children playing football. I also lost the opportunity to visit a cottage. If yesterday it seemed that time stood still, today I am not able to pick up the pace. And back to the hotel left me exhausted, physically and mentally. Tip: takes over notepad and pen, whenever you can.
Dependence on a mobile device is real, or merely call it nomofobia digital appetite. 82.5% of the owners of a smartphone continue using it on vacation. 93% always take over. 70.1% will be taken to the beach. 51% cast photos on that beach. To some it will fall to the sea. 71% of them planned their holidays online. More than half through mobile. We take the smartphone because we need to feel it. And that empty space note.
I must admit that is also very comfortable walking without my usual stuff, without the Kindle or thinking every bit where I can “connect” DNI just a Visa credit and some cash. It is also strange that moment where, when everyone shoots the pictures of rigor in some boardwalk, stare at me like an idiot. My first action was to take hands into the pockets. Until recently even that, used to take the phone in hand. After a couple of hours start thinking that everything you have not captured what you’ve lost. Although not as dramatic.
Day Three: What are all these posters?
A conductor formed in the new century will have a real problem. The tremendous insecurity to travel without additional information, without the quickest route, tolls, traffic density, alternatives and public schedules: a blindness for which it is not prepared. The technology has been instrumental in improving the quality and traffic safety. 1989 was the year where the record high marked traffic accidents; the culmination of a decade with a terrible growing trend. 9344 people died when we did not reach nor the 15 million vehicles. At the end of 2015, with 28 million vehicles, killed 1018 people.
Throughout the journey I’m thinking about this. How technology transforms us as a society, altering human behavior -only 3,000 people must be observed in the pokequedada of El Retiro, give us more opportunities to get in conversation with anywhere in the world. I think it’s worth, I’m no Internet because I can, but the driver of this bus cannot do without their digital systems. For the sake of the rest.
Arriving at my destination again I feel the weakness of those who have a true machine next. And I meet a stand of books, most third or fourth hand. I remember that passage of Kafka on the Shore where the protagonist devours books day because they have nothing else to do. And I buy some things. I do not know who has the courage to call reading “snooty exercise.” It is the solution to most problems entertainment.
So I spent the rest of the afternoon wandering through parks and reading, before retracing the route on another bus. And I can conclude two things. First, I do not remember such a satisfying and concentrated reading, so real. And two: thanks to not spend two hours answering emails consulting and, on arrival felt my vacation really just beginning.
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Day Four: Provincial hangover
Taking an analog retreat with children is much more complicated. Or when your job depends on it, when one day off the radar may involve serious problems. The fact is that I am one of those people. With children, a job without schedule. As timely and consensual experiment can work as a way of life … it depends.
The next item on my getaway includes visit the village of my parents. So I try the pool for the first time, I call the suitcase and the train station to check the outputs. A people is always the same: Outskirts growing, something abandoned, neighbors who do not recognize, some yes and chase you with sidelong glances, businesses where there should be schools and kids crossing streets without looking.
In my old house I find that I used 20 years ago to be happy: VHS tape boxes with re – recorded music tapes, a Nintendo Entertainment System, and a bike. No longer technological products. Material that has died and only revives the nostalgia time. Return to the past is always an idiot exercise where sweeten things that were not so bad ? Can. If this “experiment” is performed by a millennial, someone born from the Year 2000, surely you will not have to appeal to nostalgic. I buy juices and sandwiches, pick up the bike and a backpack, all that has survived care, and I’ll spend the morning exploring plants and doodling.
The truth is that I miss the phone. Not because he has drunk beer that has not photographed. Or the rich I had dinner yesterday at half past eleven in a place that I never remember. I want to know how such things work, if declared world peace, if Netflix has confirmed the second season Stranger Things or if any group of WhatsApp has dissolved because not endure. No matter: I have an appointment to see a marathon of gallows with which he was an old school teacher. And I will comment on our return.
Day Five: Turn regulations
Yes. There are certain all these tips on keeping your head busy, stargazing or stroll through anonymous chatting avenues and Before Sunset. In four days I have recently read the equivalent of 100 items media. And yes, it gives a strange liberating feeling, purer freedom. Try lowering the lead in your home and listen to those extra decibels of silence. I feel more rested. I enjoyed changing the laptop for a towel, eating slowly and looking at the plate, asking for “interesting places” a poor lady 70 years compared to determine my steps as stars reflected in results.
And I think I can deal with everything. A complete disconnection zombie apocalypse style. I feel I can build an electric generator with my own hands and live what produces the orchard one day looked after child. Miro mobile with conviction. But it has come my family and have brought mobile. I need it either.
In half an hour I’m at it “very much” that I have lost, isolated mentions and DM asking “have you angry?”. Nothing transcendent: the number 110 on the icon Facebook activity. Meanwhile answered in monosyllables about the “what ifs” of these days. And the only conclusion I draw is sick obvious that what the Internet gives you what you’re not stealing other hand.