ROAMING FREE!

ROAMING FREE!

ROAMING FREE!

ROAMING FREE!

Thought posted: 13th June 2018

Thought posted: 3rd October 2017

I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack.

I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack.

I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack.

I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack.

Roaming free featured

Author: 
Tash Walker, Founder

Author: 
Tash Walker, Founder

Author: 
Tash Walker, Founder

Author: 
Tash Walker, Founder

I’ve just returned from a bloody lovely trip to La Maddelana in Sardinia. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it. They have all the good things you might expect from Italy, a lot of coffee, excellent bread, beautifully fresh fish, cheese that makes your heart sing (plus also that obligatory extra stone round your middle that a trip to Italy necessitates.)

The other initially anxiety inducing thing La Maddelana brought to the table was no wifi.

Not even a single g.  

Our Airbnb host had mentioned this, but I clearly didn’t read the blurb. The first I think I really sat up and paid attention was on asking for the wifi code. Pretty standard these days, but as my Italian failed me and our host began gesticulating wildly to indicate ‘No!’ mild panic set in.

At first I told myself to get a grip. How bad could it be? There would be other places to get the internet. Then I reasoned that it would be actually be good for the soul, and so after the initial worry I actually felt pretty chipper.

But I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack. A fascinating descent into madness followed by some harrowing self-discoveries all wrapped up in some really big conversations about the meaning of life.

I’ve just returned from a bloody lovely trip to La Maddelana in Sardinia. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it. They have all the good things you might expect from Italy, a lot of coffee, excellent bread, beautifully fresh fish, cheese that makes your heart sing (plus also that obligatory extra stone round your middle that a trip to Italy necessitates.)

The other initially anxiety inducing thing La Maddelana brought to the table was no wifi.

Not even a single g.  

Our Airbnb host had mentioned this, but I clearly didn’t read the blurb. The first I think I really sat up and paid attention was on asking for the wifi code. Pretty standard these days, but as my Italian failed me and our host began gesticulating wildly to indicate ‘No!’ mild panic set in.

At first I told myself to get a grip. How bad could it be? There would be other places to get the internet. Then I reasoned that it would be actually be good for the soul, and so after the initial worry I actually felt pretty chipper.

But I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack. A fascinating descent into madness followed by some harrowing self-discoveries all wrapped up in some really big conversations about the meaning of life.

I’ve just returned from a bloody lovely trip to La Maddelana in Sardinia. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it. They have all the good things you might expect from Italy, a lot of coffee, excellent bread, beautifully fresh fish, cheese that makes your heart sing (plus also that obligatory extra stone round your middle that a trip to Italy necessitates.)

The other initially anxiety inducing thing La Maddelana brought to the table was no wifi.

Not even a single g.

Our Airbnb host had mentioned this, but I clearly didn’t read the blurb. The first I think I really sat up and paid attention was on asking for the wifi code. Pretty standard these days, but as my Italian failed me and our host began gesticulating wildly to indicate ‘No!’ mild panic set in.

At first I told myself to get a grip. How bad could it be? There would be other places to get the internet. Then I reasoned that it would be actually be good for the soul, and so after the initial worry I actually felt pretty chipper.

But I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack. A fascinating descent into madness followed by some harrowing self-discoveries all wrapped up in some really big conversations about the meaning of life.

I’ve just returned from a bloody lovely trip to La Maddelana in Sardinia. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it. They have all the good things you might expect from Italy, a lot of coffee, excellent bread, beautifully fresh fish, cheese that makes your heart sing (plus also that obligatory extra stone round your middle that a trip to Italy necessitates.)

The other initially anxiety inducing thing La Maddelana brought to the table was no wifi.

Not even a single g.

Our Airbnb host had mentioned this, but I clearly didn’t read the blurb. The first I think I really sat up and paid attention was on asking for the wifi code. Pretty standard these days, but as my Italian failed me and our host began gesticulating wildly to indicate ‘No!’ mild panic set in.

At first I told myself to get a grip. How bad could it be? There would be other places to get the internet. Then I reasoned that it would be actually be good for the soul, and so after the initial worry I actually felt pretty chipper.

But I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack. A fascinating descent into madness followed by some harrowing self-discoveries all wrapped up in some really big conversations about the meaning of life.

I’ve just returned from a bloody lovely trip to La Maddelana in Sardinia. If you haven’t been I highly recommend it. They have all the good things you might expect from Italy, a lot of coffee, excellent bread, beautifully fresh fish, cheese that makes your heart sing (plus also that obligatory extra stone round your middle that a trip to Italy necessitates.)

The other initially anxiety inducing thing La Maddelana brought to the table was no wifi.

Not even a single g.

Our Airbnb host had mentioned this, but I clearly didn’t read the blurb. The first I think I really sat up and paid attention was on asking for the wifi code. Pretty standard these days, but as my Italian failed me and our host began gesticulating wildly to indicate ‘No!’ mild panic set in.

At first I told myself to get a grip. How bad could it be? There would be other places to get the internet. Then I reasoned that it would be actually be good for the soul, and so after the initial worry I actually felt pretty chipper.

But I can tell you now the path to roaming free without the internet is like detoxing from crack. A fascinating descent into madness followed by some harrowing self-discoveries all wrapped up in some really big conversations about the meaning of life.

Roaming free featured

Full disclosure. I am about to report on the events of last week with rapturous praise for a life unfettered by such pilfering matters as Instagram, and what ‘I can haz cheeseburger’ meme is hilarious today, or what sub-reddit hole I have fallen down but whilst I may write with relish of these things, it is from within the chains of addiction.

For whilst my imposed withdrawal was excellent in every way, like the slavish addict I have become, the second we found internet in the airport on the return journey both my husband and I were mainlining 4g’s and drooling over our phones like crack fiends over the last speedball.

Even as we speak, my brain has all the clarity of a person who has just injected heroin straight into their veins.

 But here goes!

DAY 1 | 10.01AM  The day started out in a novel sort of way, I even had a little jaunty step at the knowledge of this imposed social experiment.  The idea of being without the internet I think for lots of people is appealing.  In discussion, I think we all like to believe we are above such addictions as the internet.  Ask a junkie how he feels about crystal meth and he would most likely state that he could give up at any point.

 I was the same.  “I don’t need the internet!” I proclaimed.  

 

DAY 1 | 11.35AM  “I don’t need the internet, but it is really useful isn’t it?”  On realising that we didn’t have any restaurant recommendations for that evening and feeling a small swell of anxiety bubble in the pit of my stomach.  My thought process whizzed ahead to the evening when we would have to use our own judgement to decide where to eat.

 

DAY 1 | 12.04PM  I felt irritable.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  I couldn’t shake a hint of grumpiness from my mood.  At first I put this down to tiredness after a hard few weeks at work.  But I could feel my hand restless in my pocket.

 

DAY 1 | 1.37PM  Today was not going well.  Here we were in the most beautiful setting and all I could think of was what was happening in my inbox.  I kept retrieving my phone just to look at it. Funny how without the internet your phone becomes the most pointless of objects.  I calculated a few numbers that seemed to be the only thing to do.  Who knew that 43-68+34567 could be so pleasing to add up?

 

DAY 1 | 4.05PM  At this point my husband and I had to talk to each other.  Having exhausted all possible interesting numerical calculations on our phones we conceded that the game was up.  Time to go cold Turkey. We put our phones in a suitcase and put in under the bed.  Even just talking about how it made us feel tense was strangely comforting.  At the end of day 1 I had felt agitated at times, fidgety, irritable and if I’m honest lost without the calming interruption of my phone to wrestle my attention from me.

 

DAY 2  It is funny but after this tricky first day and the realisation that when in the presence of my phone, my mind truly wasn’t my own I felt a lot better.  My hand still didn’t know what to do without the warm glow of WhatsApp demanding its attention but I didn’t have quite the same feeling of anxiety.

 

DAY 3  Phones are for losers.  By the third day, not only had I come to terms with my lack of internet I was positively raving about it.  You know that feeling when you leave a job and you realise you don’t have to deal with your inbox anymore?  That’s how it felt.  So what did I do?  I read a book and was able to finish a whole page without pausing to check Instagram.  Heck I finished a chapter and ploughed on!  Imagine the attention span required to do that!  My husband and I had a drink and didn’t feel compelled to capture it and share it immediately.

 

DAY 4  Oh how we laughed at the poor souls who somehow had found the internet at the beach!  At one beautiful spot, one couple seemed to spend literally half an hour posing for selfies and then retaking until they got the picture just right before sitting down at the table next to us and spending another 30mins getting the right filter, sharing and commenting on their post.  

 

DAY 5  Why was the internet invented?

 

DAY 6  We decided to move to an island with no internet permanently.  Maybe own some goats and some chickens.  Become hunter gatherer types.

 

DAY 7  At this point my mind could concentrate on individual ideas for virtually 20minutes at a time, a marked improvement on the previous week where I probably topped out at 2minutees 34seconds.  I felt like I could solve cancer, world hunger and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all in an afternoon.  I had mental clarity!

 

As I said before, whatever the apparent miraculous benefits of going without the internet and a smartphone for a whole week, I am at the end of the day a highly corruptible human being.

The airport was the first hit, a quick flick through Instagram, a few hasty replies to some WhatsApp messages.  But as we landed in London, the full hit of the fruit became an unbearable temptation.  4G is a heady and alluring mistress.  But we have to give ourselves a break here, we are in the midst of a powerful and all controlling dealer. 

We are living in a world where our attention in and of itself has become a commodity.  Whole rooms of specialists sit at companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and the like with one sole purpose - to wrestle your attention from you.  Regardless of your activity and regardless of whether it is good for you.

You could be driving, operating heavy machinery, reading your kids a bedtime story or even flying a plane. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance, we are all at any moment of the day fair game.

My week away reminded me that when your attention isn’t being relentlessly harried and pursued, picked from your pocket by a veritable Fagin type thief that life can be simpler and perhaps even more enjoyable.  

The internet may give you excellent restaurant advice, and it may help you resolve that burning question “how to make slime”* but it can also be a distraction from life and I for one enjoyed roaming free, if only for a week.

If you enjoy roaming free and are interested in pursuing a life un-hacked by some tech nerds in Silicone Valley, then you might find this article of interest.  

https://www.wired.com/story/our-minds-have-been-hijacked-by-our-phones-tristan-harris-wants-to-rescue-them/

You can sign up to the site ‘Time well spent’ here...

http://www.timewellspent.io

 


*One of Google’s most searched questions of 2016

Full disclosure. I am about to report on the events of last week with rapturous praise for a life unfettered by such pilfering matters as Instagram, and what ‘I can haz cheeseburger’ meme is hilarious today, or what sub-reddit hole I have fallen down but whilst I may write with relish of these things, it is from within the chains of addiction.

For whilst my imposed withdrawal was excellent in every way, like the slavish addict I have become, the second we found internet in the airport on the return journey both my husband and I were mainlining 4g’s and drooling over our phones like crack fiends over the last speedball.

Even as we speak, my brain has all the clarity of a person who has just injected heroin straight into their veins.

 But here goes!

DAY 1 | 10.01AM  The day started out in a novel sort of way, I even had a little jaunty step at the knowledge of this imposed social experiment.  The idea of being without the internet I think for lots of people is appealing.  In discussion, I think we all like to believe we are above such addictions as the internet.  Ask a junkie how he feels about crystal meth and he would most likely state that he could give up at any point.

 I was the same.  “I don’t need the internet!” I proclaimed.  

 

DAY 1 | 11.35AM  “I don’t need the internet, but it is really useful isn’t it?”  On realising that we didn’t have any restaurant recommendations for that evening and feeling a small swell of anxiety bubble in the pit of my stomach.  My thought process whizzed ahead to the evening when we would have to use our own judgement to decide where to eat.

 

DAY 1 | 12.04PM  I felt irritable.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  I couldn’t shake a hint of grumpiness from my mood.  At first I put this down to tiredness after a hard few weeks at work.  But I could feel my hand restless in my pocket.

 

DAY 1 | 1.37PM  Today was not going well.  Here we were in the most beautiful setting and all I could think of was what was happening in my inbox.  I kept retrieving my phone just to look at it. Funny how without the internet your phone becomes the most pointless of objects.  I calculated a few numbers that seemed to be the only thing to do.  Who knew that 43-68+34567 could be so pleasing to add up?

 

DAY 1 | 4.05PM  At this point my husband and I had to talk to each other.  Having exhausted all possible interesting numerical calculations on our phones we conceded that the game was up.  Time to go cold Turkey. We put our phones in a suitcase and put in under the bed.  Even just talking about how it made us feel tense was strangely comforting.  At the end of day 1 I had felt agitated at times, fidgety, irritable and if I’m honest lost without the calming interruption of my phone to wrestle my attention from me.

 

DAY 2  It is funny but after this tricky first day and the realisation that when in the presence of my phone, my mind truly wasn’t my own I felt a lot better.  My hand still didn’t know what to do without the warm glow of WhatsApp demanding its attention but I didn’t have quite the same feeling of anxiety.

 

DAY 3  Phones are for losers.  By the third day, not only had I come to terms with my lack of internet I was positively raving about it.  You know that feeling when you leave a job and you realise you don’t have to deal with your inbox anymore?  That’s how it felt.  So what did I do?  I read a book and was able to finish a whole page without pausing to check Instagram.  Heck I finished a chapter and ploughed on!  Imagine the attention span required to do that!  My husband and I had a drink and didn’t feel compelled to capture it and share it immediately.

 

DAY 4  Oh how we laughed at the poor souls who somehow had found the internet at the beach!  At one beautiful spot, one couple seemed to spend literally half an hour posing for selfies and then retaking until they got the picture just right before sitting down at the table next to us and spending another 30mins getting the right filter, sharing and commenting on their post.  

 

DAY 5  Why was the internet invented?

 

DAY 6  We decided to move to an island with no internet permanently.  Maybe own some goats and some chickens.  Become hunter gatherer types.

 

DAY 7  At this point my mind could concentrate on individual ideas for virtually 20minutes at a time, a marked improvement on the previous week where I probably topped out at 2minutees 34seconds.  I felt like I could solve cancer, world hunger and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all in an afternoon.  I had mental clarity!

 

As I said before, whatever the apparent miraculous benefits of going without the internet and a smartphone for a whole week, I am at the end of the day a highly corruptible human being.

The airport was the first hit, a quick flick through Instagram, a few hasty replies to some WhatsApp messages.  But as we landed in London, the full hit of the fruit became an unbearable temptation.  4G is a heady and alluring mistress.  But we have to give ourselves a break here, we are in the midst of a powerful and all controlling dealer. 

We are living in a world where our attention in and of itself has become a commodity.  Whole rooms of specialists sit at companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and the like with one sole purpose - to wrestle your attention from you.  Regardless of your activity and regardless of whether it is good for you.

You could be driving, operating heavy machinery, reading your kids a bedtime story or even flying a plane. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance, we are all at any moment of the day fair game.

My week away reminded me that when your attention isn’t being relentlessly harried and pursued, picked from your pocket by a veritable Fagin type thief that life can be simpler and perhaps even more enjoyable.  

The internet may give you excellent restaurant advice, and it may help you resolve that burning question “how to make slime”* but it can also be a distraction from life and I for one enjoyed roaming free, if only for a week.

If you enjoy roaming free and are interested in pursuing a life un-hacked by some tech nerds in Silicone Valley, then you might find this article of interest.  

https://www.wired.com/story/our-minds-have-been-hijacked-by-our-phones-tristan-harris-wants-to-rescue-them/

You can sign up to the site ‘Time well spent’ here...

http://www.timewellspent.io

 


*One of Google’s most searched questions of 2016

It is our job in market research to bang the drum for utility on their behalf.  We have one job to do, which is to make the lives of people we research better.

Lord knows the world doesn’t need more stuff.  What it needs are products and services that actually do a job and even if for a brief moment, create a little bit of joy or satisfaction.

Perhaps it comes down to how we define ‘tells you something’.

What we don’t mean at The Mix is that it tells you everything we heard.

What we do mean is we tell you what you need to go and do a better job.

Might sound like a semantic but it literally amazes me that in the 21st century, market research continues to be obsessed with presenting every possible viewpoint.  Research in the 21st century, has a moral duty to observe and understand what we see but then also be able to communicate with great clarity the one thing that will make a product or service better for the people that use it.

If we don’t, we have failed and more crap stuff will keep getting produced.

So if you are on the side of utility, then you need to pay attention to the small stuff, understand the viewpoints but then make some choices.

 

‘The essence of strategy is sacrifice’

- David Ogilvy

 

Perhaps never more has this been an important phrase to remember and perhaps never more has research needed a bit of sacrifice.

Full disclosure. I am about to report on the events of last week with rapturous praise for a life unfettered by such pilfering matters as Instagram, and what ‘I can haz cheeseburger’ meme is hilarious today, or what sub-reddit hole I have fallen down but whilst I may write with relish of these things, it is from within the chains of addiction.

For whilst my imposed withdrawal was excellent in every way, like the slavish addict I have become, the second we found internet in the airport on the return journey both my husband and I were mainlining 4g’s and drooling over our phones like crack fiends over the last speedball.

Even as we speak, my brain has all the clarity of a person who has just injected heroin straight into their veins.

 But here goes!

DAY 1 | 10.01AM  The day started out in a novel sort of way, I even had a little jaunty step at the knowledge of this imposed social experiment.  The idea of being without the internet I think for lots of people is appealing.  In discussion, I think we all like to believe we are above such addictions as the internet.  Ask a junkie how he feels about crystal meth and he would most likely state that he could give up at any point.

 I was the same.  “I don’t need the internet!” I proclaimed.  

 

DAY 1 | 11.35AM  “I don’t need the internet, but it is really useful isn’t it?”  On realising that we didn’t have any restaurant recommendations for that evening and feeling a small swell of anxiety bubble in the pit of my stomach.  My thought process whizzed ahead to the evening when we would have to use our own judgement to decide where to eat.

 

DAY 1 | 12.04PM  I felt irritable.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  I couldn’t shake a hint of grumpiness from my mood.  At first I put this down to tiredness after a hard few weeks at work.  But I could feel my hand restless in my pocket.

 

DAY 1 | 1.37PM  Today was not going well.  Here we were in the most beautiful setting and all I could think of was what was happening in my inbox.  I kept retrieving my phone just to look at it. Funny how without the internet your phone becomes the most pointless of objects.  I calculated a few numbers that seemed to be the only thing to do.  Who knew that 43-68+34567 could be so pleasing to add up?

 

DAY 1 | 4.05PM  At this point my husband and I had to talk to each other.  Having exhausted all possible interesting numerical calculations on our phones we conceded that the game was up.  Time to go cold Turkey. We put our phones in a suitcase and put in under the bed.  Even just talking about how it made us feel tense was strangely comforting.  At the end of day 1 I had felt agitated at times, fidgety, irritable and if I’m honest lost without the calming interruption of my phone to wrestle my attention from me.

 

DAY 2  It is funny but after this tricky first day and the realisation that when in the presence of my phone, my mind truly wasn’t my own I felt a lot better.  My hand still didn’t know what to do without the warm glow of WhatsApp demanding its attention but I didn’t have quite the same feeling of anxiety.

 

DAY 3  Phones are for losers.  By the third day, not only had I come to terms with my lack of internet I was positively raving about it.  You know that feeling when you leave a job and you realise you don’t have to deal with your inbox anymore?  That’s how it felt.  So what did I do?  I read a book and was able to finish a whole page without pausing to check Instagram.  Heck I finished a chapter and ploughed on!  Imagine the attention span required to do that!  My husband and I had a drink and didn’t feel compelled to capture it and share it immediately.

 

DAY 4  Oh how we laughed at the poor souls who somehow had found the internet at the beach!  At one beautiful spot, one couple seemed to spend literally half an hour posing for selfies and then retaking until they got the picture just right before sitting down at the table next to us and spending another 30mins getting the right filter, sharing and commenting on their post.  

 

DAY 5  Why was the internet invented?

 

DAY 6  We decided to move to an island with no internet permanently.  Maybe own some goats and some chickens.  Become hunter gatherer types.

 

DAY 7  At this point my mind could concentrate on individual ideas for virtually 20minutes at a time, a marked improvement on the previous week where I probably topped out at 2minutees 34seconds.  I felt like I could solve cancer, world hunger and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all in an afternoon.  I had mental clarity!

 

As I said before, whatever the apparent miraculous benefits of going without the internet and a smartphone for a whole week, I am at the end of the day a highly corruptible human being.

The airport was the first hit, a quick flick through Instagram, a few hasty replies to some WhatsApp messages.  But as we landed in London, the full hit of the fruit became an unbearable temptation.  4G is a heady and alluring mistress.  But we have to give ourselves a break here, we are in the midst of a powerful and all controlling dealer. 

We are living in a world where our attention in and of itself has become a commodity.  Whole rooms of specialists sit at companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and the like with one sole purpose - to wrestle your attention from you.  Regardless of your activity and regardless of whether it is good for you.

You could be driving, operating heavy machinery, reading your kids a bedtime story or even flying a plane. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance, we are all at any moment of the day fair game.

My week away reminded me that when your attention isn’t being relentlessly harried and pursued, picked from your pocket by a veritable Fagin type thief that life can be simpler and perhaps even more enjoyable.  

The internet may give you excellent restaurant advice, and it may help you resolve that burning question “how to make slime”* but it can also be a distraction from life and I for one enjoyed roaming free, if only for a week.

If you enjoy roaming free and are interested in pursuing a life un-hacked by some tech nerds in Silicone Valley, then you might find this article of interest.  

https://www.wired.com/story/our-minds-have-been-hijacked-by-our-phones-tristan-harris-wants-to-rescue-them/

You can sign up to the site ‘Time well spent’ here...

http://www.timewellspent.io

 


*One of Google’s most searched questions of 2016

Full disclosure. I am about to report on the events of last week with rapturous praise for a life unfettered by such pilfering matters as Instagram, and what ‘I can haz cheeseburger’ meme is hilarious today, or what sub-reddit hole I have fallen down but whilst I may write with relish of these things, it is from within the chains of addiction.

For whilst my imposed withdrawal was excellent in every way, like the slavish addict I have become, the second we found internet in the airport on the return journey both my husband and I were mainlining 4g’s and drooling over our phones like crack fiends over the last speedball.

Even as we speak, my brain has all the clarity of a person who has just injected heroin straight into their veins.

 But here goes!

DAY 1 | 10.01AM  The day started out in a novel sort of way, I even had a little jaunty step at the knowledge of this imposed social experiment.  The idea of being without the internet I think for lots of people is appealing.  In discussion, I think we all like to believe we are above such addictions as the internet.  Ask a junkie how he feels about crystal meth and he would most likely state that he could give up at any point.

 I was the same.  “I don’t need the internet!” I proclaimed.  

 

DAY 1 | 11.35AM  “I don’t need the internet, but it is really useful isn’t it?”  On realising that we didn’t have any restaurant recommendations for that evening and feeling a small swell of anxiety bubble in the pit of my stomach.  My thought process whizzed ahead to the evening when we would have to use our own judgement to decide where to eat.

 

DAY 1 | 12.04PM  I felt irritable.  I couldn’t quite put my finger on it.  I couldn’t shake a hint of grumpiness from my mood.  At first I put this down to tiredness after a hard few weeks at work.  But I could feel my hand restless in my pocket.

 

DAY 1 | 1.37PM  Today was not going well.  Here we were in the most beautiful setting and all I could think of was what was happening in my inbox.  I kept retrieving my phone just to look at it. Funny how without the internet your phone becomes the most pointless of objects.  I calculated a few numbers that seemed to be the only thing to do.  Who knew that 43-68+34567 could be so pleasing to add up?

 

DAY 1 | 4.05PM  At this point my husband and I had to talk to each other.  Having exhausted all possible interesting numerical calculations on our phones we conceded that the game was up.  Time to go cold Turkey. We put our phones in a suitcase and put in under the bed.  Even just talking about how it made us feel tense was strangely comforting.  At the end of day 1 I had felt agitated at times, fidgety, irritable and if I’m honest lost without the calming interruption of my phone to wrestle my attention from me.

 

DAY 2  It is funny but after this tricky first day and the realisation that when in the presence of my phone, my mind truly wasn’t my own I felt a lot better.  My hand still didn’t know what to do without the warm glow of WhatsApp demanding its attention but I didn’t have quite the same feeling of anxiety.

 

DAY 3  Phones are for losers.  By the third day, not only had I come to terms with my lack of internet I was positively raving about it.  You know that feeling when you leave a job and you realise you don’t have to deal with your inbox anymore?  That’s how it felt.  So what did I do?  I read a book and was able to finish a whole page without pausing to check Instagram.  Heck I finished a chapter and ploughed on!  Imagine the attention span required to do that!  My husband and I had a drink and didn’t feel compelled to capture it and share it immediately.

 

DAY 4  Oh how we laughed at the poor souls who somehow had found the internet at the beach!  At one beautiful spot, one couple seemed to spend literally half an hour posing for selfies and then retaking until they got the picture just right before sitting down at the table next to us and spending another 30mins getting the right filter, sharing and commenting on their post.  

 

DAY 5  Why was the internet invented?

 

DAY 6  We decided to move to an island with no internet permanently. Maybe own some goats and some chickens.  Become hunter gatherer types.

 

DAY 7  At this point my mind could concentrate on individual ideas for virtually 20minutes at a time, a marked improvement on the previous week where I probably topped out at 2minutees 34seconds.  I felt like I could solve cancer, world hunger and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict all in an afternoon.  I had mental clarity!

 

As I said before, whatever the apparent miraculous benefits of going without the internet and a smartphone for a whole week, I am at the end of the day a highly corruptible human being.

The airport was the first hit, a quick flick through Instagram, a few hasty replies to some WhatsApp messages.  But as we landed in London, the full hit of the fruit became an unbearable temptation.  4G is a heady and alluring mistress.  But we have to give ourselves a break here, we are in the midst of a powerful and all controlling dealer. 

We are living in a world where our attention in and of itself has become a commodity.  Whole rooms of specialists sit at companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook and the like with one sole purpose - to wrestle your attention from you.  Regardless of your activity and regardless of whether it is good for you.

You could be driving, operating heavy machinery, reading your kids a bedtime story or even flying a plane. It doesn’t matter what the circumstance, we are all at any moment of the day fair game.

My week away reminded me that when your attention isn’t being relentlessly harried and pursued, picked from your pocket by a veritable Fagin type thief that life can be simpler and perhaps even more enjoyable.  

The internet may give you excellent restaurant advice, and it may help you resolve that burning question “how to make slime”* but it can also be a distraction from life and I for one enjoyed roaming free, if only for a week.

If you enjoy roaming free and are interested in pursuing a life un-hacked by some tech nerds in Silicone Valley, then you might find this article of interest.  

https://www.wired.com/story/our-minds-have-been-hijacked-by-our-phones-tristan-harris-wants-to-rescue-them/

You can sign up to the site ‘Time well spent’ here...

http://www.timewellspent.io

 


*One of Google’s most searched questions of 2016

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