Taking the family on a Cruise provided a unique chance to view the world from a disconnected state. Once considered the norm, in today’s universe many people find themselves “connected” 24×7, myself included.
No Facebook or Twitter and suddenly 800 voices are quiet. I have nobody to amuse me with funny cat pictures and political statements for/against some cause or even to know that a bunch of my friends got snow while I was gone. What value does all this add to my life? Amazingly, very little and very much all at the same time.
The real time and constant amusement is…. Well…. Amusing. Never do I need to worry about being completely and totally bored while I complete a phone call, wait in line, sit in a taxi, or so on. Yes, I’ve become high maintenance that way. The next generation has as well, the kids look at me aghast when I suggest they just be quiet and look out the window during our horrifically long 3 mile commute to wherever.
The connection to “friends” is something different all together.
In my 9 years of endurance sport I have accumulated hundreds of friends across the country. Many of these friends I’ve never met in person or even spoken to on the phone. Some maybe once as I came through on business. Most, however, are just through typing. I have to say many of them I have stronger bonds with than I do many of the casual local friends.
So it begs the argument, are these any less “real” of friends just because we’ve never shaken hands or shared a hug? I think the actions and words (even typed) make the relationship and this form of relationship is indeed a valid one, just harder for the rest of the world to comprehend. By being disconnected I am now not able to see my friends or hear about whether or not they have power or if their new baby loves or hates the snow – just like I cannot seem my “real world” friends. So this, I agree, is a bit of a loss.
The connection to work is one many could set aside easily. However, being self employed (or creatively unemployed, whatever you want to call it) running on 27 years now I am constantly monitoring work. Even though I’ve got 10 great people working for me it’s a hard habit to break. Always when I leave on vacation we get busy. This trip no exception. Although they are all perfectly capable, I still worry. Will we take great care of this new client? Will the proposal have everything we need in it? or…. Well, you name it.
In a world full of connected people even clients expect (or at least hope) I will be able to respond… 24×7. Perhaps I’ve trained them that way as I usually do answer, at least 5am-10pm 7 days a week. Maybe I need to stop that…Anyhow….
It’s a drag I cannot check the weather 20x day. I might actually have to walk to the balcony and open the door. Darn, the inconvenience!
I cannot check the news obsessively either. This, I think, is a Very good thing. The fact is, the news reports almost all negative and almost all things out of my control. With that understanding WHY do I read it at all? Except the tech news, I do enjoy reading about the newest widget I cannot afford to buy and won’t be able to play with for months or more. That’s fun… right?
Information lookup – now, this I feel a loss.
A wise man is not one who knows all, but knows where all is
I am a wise man by this defition, but it’s only because of my multitude of connected widgets that connect me to the internet. I was faced with a buying decision on the cruise – some overpriced cream that was supposed to solve all my problems. My immediate reaction was to google it, find reviews and compare prices. Their immediate response was to play on my fears and concerns about the problems I may or may not have made up on my form (hehe) before I had my massage. After all, my skin isn’t as purty as it could be right?
Although I rarely play games on my iPhone/iPad etc, the kids do. I caught them both playing games during some down time. Really? Come on guys we’re on a Disney-Freakin-Cruise there is no greater holyland of fun – if you’re tired sleep. If you’re not, go to one of the bazillion activities on board. But it made me think – this is what they do at home and this is “habit”. Very low tolerance for boredom. I think a little boredom is good. The law of Neutrality requires that to have great times you must also know what bad times are – for only then can you tell the difference. So no games guys – hand over the devices. I get it though, so we saved the floggings for another day.
So it took 24 hours for me to stop grabbing for my iPhone every few minutes… I’m still carrying It around (as a camera when out with the kids and a stop watch in the gym) but as we hit the 48 hour mark I’m letting go….
I made it 62 hours until we got to a port of call with wireless signal and then the emails came streaming in and my willpower broke. After a furious morning of email responses I more or less stayed off it (translation, I was on it) during the day (but not night) and again the next day.
A huge pressure was releived that I could see what happened on X, Y, Z and answer questions to help my guys do their thing.
After that I was back offline another 60 hours. The second 60 was easier than the first.
I could get used to this…
I think I may need to schedule some more offline time…. my true friends will still be there when I’m back.
Welcome back… friends!