Riding the Waves to Eternity

Hangin' with the Cosmic Surfer

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Lock the Gates, Goofy, Take My Hand

7 October, 2017 (20:37) | Dead Water, Facebook | By: Ian Burdon

I haven’t looked at my mobile phone today. It’s by my bedside, where it was when I woke up. It hasn’t been in my pocket or been carried around from room to room as I’ve walked round the house. I didn’t take it with me when I went out to the shops this morning, and it wasn’t on the windowsill while I power washed the deck this afternoon.

I was a late adopter of mobiles, and I think I only got one in the first place through work. I quickly got into the habit of having a work phone and a personal phone and keeping them separate. From late-adopting scepticism, I’ve got into the same habit of always-on connectivity as the rest of the world.

As I’ve written here before, I’ve restricted my social media activities quite considerably. I cancelled my LinkedIn account in May 2016, and effectively closed my Facebook account last November, though friends can still get me on Messenger, and I have resurfaced a couple of times when the occasion required it. I still have a Twitter account that I look at for half an hour at a time four or five times a day, and reckon that is probably too much. And I have an Instagram account that I do use but is, by its nature, a more sporadic thing.

My scepticism is not new–I’ve written about it several times including the post below from August 2011

Ramblin’ On My Mind (2)

So I was ready to encounter this in the Guardian and to follow up by reading Tristan Harris. You don’t have to buy in to all of the ideas there to nevertheless consider your own approach to connectivity. Still, much of what Harris and his peers say at least echo my reasons for dropping off Facebook, which I wrote about here:

A Farewell to facebook?

So I made a deliberate decision to disconnect myself today (except, ironically enough, by writing this blog post.) This isn’t permanent, and I don’t expect a medal for it; I’m not a Luddite and I’m not rejecting the benefits of connectivity. As our landline is these days only an attractor for spam calls, my personal mobile is where I get calls from people whom I actually want to talk to and so it won’t go away.

But leaving the phone by the bed while I go about my day fits with the reason I rarely wear a watch: I don’t want to measure my existence or awareness by reference to technology or the promptings of technology. I want to find a different frame of reference for experiencing life that is more rooted in the inner than by external signifiers.

I know that sounds like hippy-shit, but there we are.