The past weekend we managed to grab some time away as a family. It’s been a long time coming as we booked this in March 2020, so the release to finally get away was huge. The break away wasn’t anything lavish, but even a couple of days with zero to worry about and we can enjoy some activities together was fantastic. For the long weekend I chose to not take any connective technology with me, and it can’t tell you how both weird and wonderful it felt.
The day we arrived whilst waiting to order some food, twice in fairly quick succession I raised my wrist to see what the time was. Only to see a faint tan line and in indent from my Apple Watch. I let out a small groan due to lacking the ability to check the time, and wondered why on earth all of my tech was at home a couple of hours drive away. I didn’t need it, I didn’t want it, yet my brain still tried to play through the tried and tested route of fixing a small period of boredom with a gadget.
As much as I am aware that it is not the internet that does these things to me, it is becoming harder and harder to mediate them with the reliance I have of both working online and enjoying spending time connected. I am currently managing to live in an in between space where I try and limit the time I spend with gadgets, but not miss out on what they can do for me.
There were a few issues. When we left each other for even a small period of time, such as walking to the shop to fetch some breakfast, my wife couldn’t update me on what she needed. Of course this wasn’t a huge deal, but I also couldn’t use the NHS COVID app to track me being at several facilities, and as such felt a bit out of place. I could have done this manually, but I am not comfortable leaving my personal details on a random forms, so opted to just rely on my wife scanning the QR code.
All of the attractions we visited also required ordering of food and drink from a smartphone app which again I had to lean on my wife more than usual. The pandemic has placed a reliance on our connected lives and the smartness of our devices far outside the ability to contact with others. I am under no illusions that me being without a smartphone for a longer length of time just wouldn’t work out, but it’s nice to dream a little.
The lack of Apple Pay, messaging and everything else my phone does for me didn’t crop up as much as I thought it would. Most obstacles could be overcome with a little thought, but having a computer in your packet is just so much easier. However the silence from my need to check social media and the reduced pocket space needed made for a much more enjoyable break away. What first was an annoyance of not being able to find out the time became something I enjoyed and instead focused on other things.
I have not decided when I will return yet as I am enjoying a break away for the next week. I did open Twitter today to be greeted with 13 notifications. All of which are spam to try and get me engaged in the platform again. So I swiftly closed it again. I miss it, but not in the ways I expected. It’s great to log off for a bit every now and again.
I might realise how much I miss it…. Perhaps.