Thursday, 8 September 2016

A Tech-free Trip - well, almost!

It was only when I got to Dublin airport and decided to check for messages that I realised I had left my mobile phone at home. Horror of horrors! As I was arriving late, I planned on going straight to my hotel in Frankfurt city centre and sending my daughter a text to say I had arrived safely and make plans for meeting next morning. There's always the internet, I consoled myself.  However, my gmail account wasn't having any of this nonsense. I was not at my usual pc and they wanted answers to questions such as "when did you create your account with gmail?"  They also wanted me to check my mobile. Grrrr...  I had one mobile phone number written into my little diary which I had - with more luck than intelligence - packed into my shoulder bag. I accosted a handsome young man (!!) and asked if I could send a text on his phone. Ole, if you ever read this, please accept my thanks again, you saved my life!  I sent off a text to my son explaining what had happened and gave my hotel phone number. 
It all worked beautifully. My daughter got my message and phoned me at my hotel and we made arrangements of when and where to meet.  And so the whole week went.  I met some former colleagues, having already arranged the time and place before I left Ireland, so no hassle there. Everything went smoothly simply because there was no way of making last minute changes or sending texts to say "I'll be half an hour late". 

I can't say it was liberating, especially at the beginning, because the urge for instant communication has been drilled into us by the mobile communications people. But by the end of my stay I was completely used to being without my phone. Being without your mobile simply makes you a better communicator!  Instead of "I'll send you a text" you have to say something like "we'll meet at the town hall tomorrow at 2 p.m." and then you have to be there.  You can't take photos of anything and everything at will, you just have to relax and enjoy the moment.  And you have to ask and read notices in order to find things out as you can't simply google it.

No. I have not thrown my phone away and I have done some texting this morning already.  But at least I now know that I don't need it absolutely to survive in the communications jungle.  It's a cheering thought.

Finally, I read an article on the BBC's website.  It is a true and tragic story of a family who left home without mobiles or credit cards and although they were always near major cities and towns, they were practically untraceable. They literally disappeared off the radar.  Makes you think.
Here's the link:

the mystery of a tech-free road trip in Australia

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