In the 70’s there was a cult TV drama called The Survivors. It told the story of a small group of people who survived a plague which had wiped out 99% of the worlds population. They had to live off the land and survive without the trappings of modern day life and I remember thinking how hideous it would be to live without technology (although it wasn’t actually a word then). How would one manage without a phone, three TV channels and a car!
Fast forward to 2012 and we have numerous appliances and ways of communicating to make life “simpler” but are we happier, do we have more time, or do they add another level of self inflicted stress to our lives?
Last night on my journey home, my phone ran out of battery (damn the iPhone battery) and I looked around, everyone was on their phone, head down frantically tapping. How weird, I’d never noticed before – whatever happened to looking out of the window and day dreaming.
Imagine what I would do if I didn’t have a phone or a computer, I could ………………………..
Lie in bed past 6am – instead of getting up to write a blog post.
Eat a leisurely breakfast and browse through the paper – instead of frantically checking my emails, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram!
Read a book or a magazine on the bus to work – instead of frantically checking my emails, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram and reading the Guardian and Daily Mail SCOS.
Have a conversation and interact with my work colleagues, maybe even walk about a bit and talk to people in other parts of the office – instead of emailing them, even though they sit directly opposite me.
Go for lunch with my work colleagues – instead of grabbing a sandwich to eat at my desk – so that I can check my emails, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the Daily Mail SCOS – as it may have updated.
Speak to MAD and the teens at least once during the day – instead of texting and emailing them and getting frustrated because they don’t reply.
Physically interact in real life with my friends and family. – instead of texting, emailing, messaging, liking and commenting on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
Eat a leisurely dinner with my family – rather than grabbing a piece of toast, after rushing home from one job to start another, because I am freelance and can work “flexibly”.
Speak to my neighbours for more than five minutes when I see them in the street – instead of texting, emailing or sending them messages on Face book.
Spend more time with real friends doing real things – instead of cultivating virtual friendships with people I will probably never meet on Twitter and Instagram.
Concentrate on what my real friends are saying 100% when I am with them – instead of sneaking a quick peak at my emails, Twitter, Instagram when they are not looking.
Tell my friends and family what I am feeling – rather than updating my FB and Twitter status.
Enjoy social situations, cocktails and meals – without seeing everything as an Instagram opportunity.
Watch a TV programme all the way through – instead of constantly checking Twitter to see what everyone is saying about it and ruining my families enjoyment by reading out the witty things my virtual friends are saying.
Read an actual book all the way through – rather than add more books I know I will never get round to finishing, to my Kindle.
Read a magazine article from beginning to end – instead of wishing it was a blog post.
Make a cake – instead of fantasising over a food blog.
Make Christmas cards/presents/decorations or sew something – instead of fantasising over a craft blog.
Decorate the house – instead of fantasising over a lifestyle blog.
Write a letter – actually write anything.
Tidy out a cupboard.
Draw or paint an picture.
Write a book – ok this is extreme – but I was day dreaming!……………….
The list is endless and occasionally, just occasionally. when I get home to 200 unread emails, after a long day of reading emails, I dream of those simple days in the 70’s where we had nothing more complicated than an 8 track player and party line to clutter up our lives – but how the Hell did we ever communicate?
What a fabulously attractive idea. I have been spending more and more time at home recently trying to actually do the things I research and think about all the time, like knitting, cooking and sewing and it’s amazing how much you can actually get done when you don’t spend the whole morning on the computer “researching” !!!! Bring back the 70’s I say – talking is underrated in my opinion !
I hear ya Becky – we write about it all but do we actually “do it”? Jx
Oh but I do love it all so much! FB, Twitter, Instagram, DM SCOS – I know are all massive time wasters but I have learnt so many new things, met again with so many old friends and just had my world brightened by it all!! I know, I know I need to get out more!!
More and more I see life as a potential blog post or Instagram image. I need help, A
Jane, you can do all those things now!!!
I dont have time Mary – Im too busy saving time on Social Networking!! Jx
I hear ya! This morning on the 87 bus from Stockwell into work, I realised that the only person on the top deck of the bus who wasn’t plugged into an ipod or chatting on the phone (at 8.30!) was me. (reason to follow) I find the headphones really depressing because we just shut ourselves off from each other – and god forbid if someone was ever crying out for help these days – nobody would hear them! Anyway – the reason I wasn’t listening to music or cycling into work is that I am DEEP in my book, Revolutionary Road and just can’t bear to be parted for it for even a minute. I haven’t had this feeling for so long – that feeling unputdownable cancel-all-plans books give you. It’s SO NICE!
And the other thing I have to say is that I took up quilting! Aged 35. I know, I know. But it’s wonderful therapy for those of us who live on our iphones. I now chat to my kids while they have their supper, even if I am sewing away. I am not texting or tweeting or posting comments on blogs!
And the third thing I want to say is that since the Orla Kiely collection hit Uniqlo and I bought the scarf (and far too many of the dresses!) I have had SO many uplifting, hilarious conversations with random women in the street about how many scarves and dresses I/we had bought because they were also proudly wearing them. I heard about the collection on a blog, and it has led to lots of human interaction!
So there you go – take the headphones off, start a quilt, find a brilliant book and chat to strangers in the street as an antidote to all the above! Still possible!
I’m going to turn my computer off now and do something ‘real’
Oh Malika you comment is SO inspiring and I am going to challenge myself to do something physical at least once a week form now on. Quilting on the bus anyone!
How about knitting on the bus ? I find it’s a great way to get chatting to people – kids usually come over to see what on earth you are doing and adults just start talking to you. I used to knit on the train in the UK and on the tram in Hong Kong all the time – and nearly every time someone would come and talk to me and hey – it’s soothing and portable work especially if you are knitting a sock or something small – even more reason for conversation then – “how on earth do you knit on 4 needles” – let me show you I’d say !!!!
I am the only person I know who doesn’t use a mobile and so obviously never texts, has never Twittered ot Tweeted, has no iPod or iPad, has no idea what MSN is or how to Pinterest or Instagram and the only blog I read is this one. Strange perhaps for someone who works in the online fashion business but it means I can spend my hour’s journey into work and back reading all the wekend newspapers and my latest book ( Paris Wife since you ask) or look out of the window and check what’s in the store windows along Knightsbridge while everyone else is manically looking at their phone. IT means I go home at night and cook without worrying if I should be checking my mobile, watch TV uninterrupted, can walk round and actually think without being plugged in to a barrage of noise in my ears ( although I have been using my old 80s Sony Walkman in work lately and everyone thinks it’s very cool and retro ….)
No one can understand how I exist without a mobile, but it’s so liberating being unhammpered by technology. It’s a modern day malaise — look around and everyone has a mobile in one hand a cardboard sippy cup of luke warm coffee in the other. Get a life !!!
Sue you are so right and an example to us all. AND you manage to do your job as well (if not better) as anyone who is constantly plugged in. I think I need tecnology rehab! Watch this space – its already happening in Japan for kids who are addicted to gaming