Now, as you know, I was sans technology for a few days. Apparently, at one of those big metal telephone exchange boxes bolted to a street corner about two blocks from the house someone had flicked off a connection and we were sent back in time. No computer, no television, no home phone (which nobody calls anymore, but…), no digital deluge — just quiet.
Silence might be golden but it began to feel like iron pyrite, despite the air of relaxation that entered the house. It wasn’t long (a few minutes!) before I started to feel cut off; I wondered, are we masters of our technology or is it master of us? Or, do we get habituated, almost addicted, to instant interconnectivity?
I can tell you this, I went to bed irritated, frustrated that all the voice prompts and all the rebooting efforts came to naught. But when I woke, it was to a feeling of well being. Everything that lay ahead that day would take place non-digitally, in real time, in real life. The boundaries, contours, and rhythms of day felt solid, unhurried, familiar. More resonant. More observed and experienced.
So instead of skittering through time, skimming through information, surfing social media, I stopped. And it felt fine. I will certainly do it more often. Or, perhaps I’ll work a little harder to find the balance between the instant and the considered.
Not that I’ll take my laptop into the bath, but I will be looking for more sustenance and less whipped cream.