Monday, April 5, 2010


I've been daydreaming about living Amish lately. I think it's either a sign that technology in all its forms has been intruding in my life just that little bit too much lately, or I'm having an episode of some sort. I'm going to go with the former.

Lately, I have been feeling intruded upon when I'm out and my phone rings, I have been resenting my laptops insistent little blinking lights imperoiously wondering why I am ignoring it AGAIN when GG and I are snuggled on the couch reading.

Don't get me wrong, I still love my cute little laptop, and the mobile phone does come in very handy when I lock myself out of the house for the upteenth time or can't find my husband in Bunnings. And I do still seriously love blogging, even though I have been suffering with writers block for a bit now, both here and in the book.

But doesn't it all seem a bit much lately? We've got technology everywhere we go, in every facet of our lives. In the 60's the marketing hype was that the technological age was going to make life easier, and give us more leisure time, but it feels like it done the opposite. Now we are running around like over-caffinated ferrets, trying to keep up with our jobs, family and friends and all their associated voicemail, email, Facebook, MySpace, Twitter updates and the like. And part of this is great, I have friends, very good friends, far away who I have not seen for ages, or even spoken to on the phone in months, but still can stay in touch with, share photos of our children smeared in Easter chocolate and the like. The opposite is that I haven't hugged my best friend in yonks, but know that Jane Doe is having soup for dinner. Hold the presses.

Yesterday, Easter Sunday, my family and I all went down to a local park to spend the day together. Kids swung on swings, narrowly avoided permanent injury on the monkey bars and ran around screaming til the sugar wore off. Dogs ran, wrestled and swam til they dropped. Adults barbequed and chatted, even charming the people at the next gazebo over into using their camp oven to boil a kettle for us so we could have a cup of tea. Gold. We sat around talking, we sat around playing board games, we sat around swapping family stories we've all heard a million times before, but still crack up at when they are told. It was just a simple, relaxing, fun day. I didn't pick up my phone all day, I didn't even glance at my laptop. It was awesome.

So while technology is probably a very good thing all up, I have been craving a bit of space from it, a chance to enjoy the simple things in life, and connect with people face-to-face, rather than electronically, or in fact not at all if I feel like it. I have always been one of those people that need time alone to decompress, I am comfortable in my own company, and often simply 'forget' to take my phone with me places, just so I can toddle about on my own, with no interruptions.

As a kid I would often take off on my horse for the day, usually with a friend or two, but often alone, and just... ride around. Follow the trail, see where it went, swim in a creek, dry off laying around in the sun, saddle up again and wander on home just in time for tea. This was waaaay before mobile phones, if I ever got into trouble, I was on my own to figure it out for myself. But it was sheer bliss.

I have been reminicing about those days a lot lately, and no doubt they are fairly rose-tinted and romantacised, but they represent such a lovely thing don't they? Solitude, getting back to nature, living simply and working out how to get yourself home.



  1. I think we all forget that there was a time not so long ago, when we couldn't be reached via phone at the grocery store, the park, the library etc etc etc. No one died from lack of contact.

    I don't have a cell phone. I don't have twitter. Nor do I have any real desire for either of these things.

  2. I put a song I like as my ringtone, then my phone rang so frigging often with telemarketers/my landlord/anyone else I'm trying to avoid that after a while if I would cringe if I heard the actual song anywhere.
    I'm with you, let's 1-up Earth hour & start tech-free day?!
    BTW will your computer blink at you & go PING when you get this comment?!

  3. I've started leaving my phone in the car, only opening my laptop when the kids are sleeping - that kind of thing. Because I've been thinking along these same lines lately, that it all kind of gets to be too much.

  4. Seems to be a common sentiment. Our cable service was out for all of last week. I didn't realize how much our TV is running on a regular basis. I rarely stop to watch it, but it is on (mostly because of Hubs).

    I loved that it didn't work. Not once did I miss the fact that we didn't power it on. I enjoyed spending a week unplugged and will most likely make it a more common occurance. Enjoy your time with GG to fullest extent you are able. For far too quickly she will be off doing other things and you'll be looking for time fillers....

  5. I think I might lose my sanity if you took away my cell phone. Chatting with my friends via blackberry seriously helps save my sanity sometimes.

    But I do know what you mean. We could live without tv and it would be fine by me. My children might come unhinged, but I wouldn't care.

  6. You are sooo right. Technology is good only if it is simplifying things. That rarely happens without complicating it to a certain extent, too.
    Your childhood sounds exactly like mine. I miss those days...

  7. Yes, I am with you to an extent. I have a mobile phone, but never had voicemail (why should I pay to retrieve my own message? besides, that is what the home answering machine is for) and certainly no internet access on it. Email is a lifesaver sometimes, saving on phonecalls but it does lead to less personal interactions. My blog is some fun for me. But I don't do FB or twitter or any of the other social networking. I have even dropped off the couple of forums I used to love. Seems I am cutting back too, without even realising.

    We used to wander off as kids for hours alone too, exploring paddocks and creeks etc, I fondly remember those days too, and know my kids are never likely to get that - snakes, unleashed dogs, stranger danger etc etc! Mobile phones are handy, but heck, instead or ringing someone to get sugar on their way home in the car, we could just borrow it from the neighbour. Those days are sadly disappearing.


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