By Abdullah AlSuwaidi (@Aabo0)
Life without certain technologies is always a topic that is tossed around during daily conversations. When these discussions come up, I’m always quick to point out that we need to use them properly, as tools that enhance our lives, and not get too dependent on them; because change happens whether we like it or not.
It can be anything, like the electricity going out or the undersea cables that keep us connected getting cut by a ship’s anchor, or an elderly woman looking for materials to recycle snapping some copper rods that happened to be lying on the ground. Luckily for you, I experienced this thanks to my self-imposed “technology fast” that I went through in 2011.
The idea came to me after I made the mistake of typing on my iPhone 4, a device whose casing is glass on both sides, while leaning on the guard rails at The Dubai Mall. The result of that unwise decision was a calamity caused by clammy hands. I found myself back on my previous device, my trusty Nokia 6630; I had sold my iPhone.
The shock was instant! I had to push buttons down. It was mind-boggling; my fingers had gotten so used to tapping and swiping that it took me a moment to force a push. It has been two years, and I still can’t articulate the feeling I had at that moment, you need to experience it yourself.
After settling down, I wondered how my life would be without the internet and I challenged myself to go for a month without it and other devices.
It was a tough adjustment to make to my daily routine. When I don’t catch up with my feeds on Google Reader, I get the same feeling you get when you leave the house and forget to put on your watch. The idea that I wasn’t updated on the things I cared about and the news in general was scary. It took some work, but I did manage to wean myself off of it and other things that I won’t mention. Because, my point here isn’t just to tell you “Oh, if you quit all that technology, your life will get so much better.”
The point is: we’re in March. Are you still sticking to the things you said you would change about yourself? Have you done some personal spring cleaning? We’re two months in and it would be a great time to check up on how you’re doing so far. The conveniences provided by modern technology makes us susceptible to losing the ability of readjusting to losing it. Cutting ourselves off from it allows us to exercise a form of self-maintenance like reassessing how we spend our time.
I managed to cut quite a lot of fat from my day to day activities and gain more time to engage myself in new experiences; like, have you ever gone on a walk before sunrise? It’s quite easy to do at this time of the year. Also, you could take the time to finally make your tweeting experience better by unfollowing a bunch of people? Oh look, there’s a trash bin, perhaps you should pull over and make use of the many ENOC bags that litter the back of your car?
The gist of the matter is: if you stop for a moment and shed everything down to the bare essentials, you always leave something you decide was pointless to begin with; so, moving forward, you’re pulling out of the pit-stop refreshed and much efficient than you previously were.