Last week whilst at my Mums and waiting for her to sit down and talk to me, *This can often be a long winded process while she continues to read or do her housework* I was reading one of her magazines off the table. *This is often used by my Mum as a reason that she didn`t sit down to talk to me: `You were reading!`* Anyway I digress, in this magazine was a couple that had decided to have a `Cyber free Sabbath` as they had come to realise that they didn`t really talk anymore or play with their children as they were too busy with gadgets.
I thought this was a great idea and ironically put it into my mobiles diary for Cyber free Sundays!
So come Saturday night I emptied my mobile and left it bare of messages and so on, then switched it off ready for Sunday and again Ironically my status on my Facebook page was that id see them all Monday as It was Cyber free Sunday!
I woke up yesterday Morning and my first instinct was to put on my mobile and see if I had any messages and what time it was. *Even though I have a teas-made clock* I spent an hour or so resisting the urge to go to my gadgets to see E-mails, Texts, FB updates and so on but I didn`t cave in. To my surprise I felt a sense of guilt that if anyone had got in contact that Id not instantly replied. It also left a small feeling of being cut off and almost vulnerable, to which I reminded myself that as a a child I had `played out` without any contact device what so ever and the sky didn`t cave in!
I told my Sons` 21yr old Girlfriend what I was doing and she was emphatic in saying; “I could never do that!” My 30yr old Sister when I went round my Mums had an even stronger response in some ways: “Why would you want to do that, *As she tapped at my Mums Laptop and tinkered on her mobile* you won`t know what`s going on in the world?”
I have to say though that it was nice to be fair. I felt relaxed and chatted to people without the constant distraction on beeps or rings that I feel an instant obligation to look at and reply to. The constant beck and call of machinery can`t be healthy really and It does come between us and conversation, and more natural things we could be doing. I even saw something on the television recently that my Son thought was hysterical, it was about young men my Sons age having virtual girlfriends instead of real ones, and that was sad and disturbing. http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/magazine-24638188
When I switched on my phone this morning there was 19 new e-mails and three messages, (Possibly only three as Id gone offline with FB as I didn`t want to be inundated.) Nearly all the e-mails where trying to get me to buy from their company’s.
The text messages were from three friends, so that was nice, should I apologise for not answering straight away? I just don`t know.
I switched on my Facebook account and there was 37 notifications that would have come through on my mobile had I not gone offline, that says quite a lot in itself.
I am not writing off the cyber world because it is an amazing thing, especially when you can`t get out and about as much as others. For instance, when I first became a single mother my Son was four and we lived in a little village and with no transport, and I relied on the telephone and a Iceland catalogue to get our food shopping. Now with a Laptop and internet shopping I am fully equipped to shop till I drop.
I stay in touch with distant family and have re-connected with old friends that Id lost touch with, so it`s a good thing and I love to hear and see how everyone is doing.