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Monday, September 14, 2009

The information foxtrot

On Saturday I managed to lose my blackberry. In the past this would have been cause for something akin to panic. OMG there goes my life.!! Not just the address book which I have built up over the years but also the photographs of my daughter I took whilst we were on holiday.

This time no such thing. Most of my contacts are in linkedin or Facebook, my photographs are mostly uploaded to Picasa, my emails are all still waiting for me at work and the phone itself is being replaced by the insurance I didn't know I had (nice to know you can insure yourself against stupidity...)

All of this is lovely and so far so web 2.0...

But the thing that struck me most was the joy of being inaccessible and the things I didn't do whilst deprived of my technological worry bead substitute.

Over the weekend and this morning I didn't read any news I wasn't interested in on the BBC website whilst I was ostensibly doing something else; I didn't absent mindedly check for emails or texts at least 30 times in the day; I didn't play WordMole or FreeRice whilst waiting for something else; I didn't zone out in the middle of a conversation to check a fact on Google; I didn't visit Facebook; I didn't send any text messages when I could have talked to someone.

What did I do?

I took my daughter out on her bicycle and then to the cinema. I watched the last night of the proms on TV when my daughter was in bed. I read a book. I talked to family and friends. I painted with my daughter (her grandmother has bought her oil paints so help me!). I cooked dinner for a neighbour. I thought about stuff.

Then I came to work this morning (reading a book on the way) and checked my RSS feeds and then my emails and the world hadn't ended. I didn't have the courage to leave my phone behind when I went on holiday and yet when it was removed from me I loved it.

I think there is something in this alternation of pace of information (a bit like the slow food movement). Slow, slow, quick, quick, slow (for those of you who wondered about the title)

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