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May 30, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Oh, What a Tangled Web we Weave

Two weeks ago, on Facebook, Salient laid down the challenge of a ‘no technology’ weekend — specifically, zero interaction with social media, digital and cellular technology from Friday noon until Sunday midnight. I jumped at this challenge, figuring that with a few planned activities I could avoid losing my mind from boredom and sail through the weekend as a flip-off to Billy G. and Mark Z.

Friday 1200

rolled around and I had managed to put off planning until it was too late—good start. New plan: I thought I’d try
spending the afternoon ‘pottering around the house’ like my grandparents’ generation seemed to be so good at. Unfortunately, without modern tech, I really struggled to waste time. I’m generally so absorbed with my online world that I didn’t have any knitting, or other offline projects, that I could waste away some time with. It seems I’ve lost the art of old-fashioned lollygagging.


Everything I can think of doing is productive. I don’t want to be productive, it’s almost the weekend, for goodness’ sake.


I just made my bed. My mother is celebrating. Mark Zuckerberg is crying.


Dusted my room. Holy crap. Is it ironic that the more I withdraw from my online world, the cleaner and tidier my real world becomes? I would Google ‘irony’ to make sure but, you know… After a couple of
hours, life seemed to have slowed down a lot. No wonder older generations had time for a war: I had time to vacuum and cut my nails.


Big sleep-in, with no cellphone alarm, no txts—it was kind of relaxing. I
realised dreaming is sort of like YouTube: lots of disjointed clips that don’t make sense; before you know it, five hours have gone by.


I wondered what’s happening on Twitter at the moment. My flatmate walks past and announces he’s having some toast. I feel a bit better.


I realised I was probably going to want to know the time when I’m out and about. Stupid cellphone, being so useful— did I even have a watch? I could barely remember where all my friends lived, so visiting was off the table. I had to think about what people did in ye olde times. They went exploring, right? Seemed like this was as good a time as any to explore my neighbourhood botanical gardens. I’m a regular Captain Cook, I know, please hold your applause.


I felt really isolated amongst the trees in the Botans; I didn’t even have the pretend comfort of a dead or credit-less phone. I thought I’d got my independence when I moved away from home—turns out that was nothing compared to abandoning communication technology for a while.


Life had definitely slowed down. I’d never have usually taken the time to read all those plaques. It began to rain, so I headed off to a real-life bookstore—just like Grandpa did. It’s a pity that one of the last media to become fully and easily accessible via the Internet is the book; there are a lot of amazing stories that our generation is missing out on in their online haven.

I was browsing the autobiographies, like a boss, when a delightful young lady manning the café upstairs in Borders trilled to her co-worker: “Isn’t it so nice when you turn your phone off for a couple of hours, and then you turn it on, and there’s five texts, and you’re like ‘yay’!”

Well said, you popular young thing. I hoped I had five texts waiting for me.

Saturday Evening

Texting is too darn convenient. On my way to meet a friend (one
thing I had planned in advance), I couldn’t help but worry that they’d cancelled or forgotten. Interestingly, they had assumed I wasn’t coming/that I had forgotten as well. When you made appointments in the past, without instant communication, I guess you just had to be trustworthy and on time. Ridiculous.


I spy with my little eye…


Cards, anyone?


New rule: every flat should have at least three board games.
I’d missed sharing so many good Facebook statuses—ones that bemoaned my student lifestyle that my student friends would show empathy for with a ‘Like’ and I would gain some online mana.

The last couple of hours dragged on and on. I think I did some readings because I wanted to. It really was the end of the world.

Saturday Night

Not many notifications and only three texts! Damn you café girl—baristas must be hooked on their modern technology.

I winder what thats like.


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  1. smackdown says:

    pull finger mate i dont wanna see you down

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