Do you ever feel overwhelmed by the availability we create for ourselves by constantly being online, having our cell phones on at all times and generally being easy to contact wherever, whenever?
I do. The remedy is often to log off for a little while, for instance going for a solitary walk without bringing any electronic equipment. The world will just have to accept that you are not available for a while. Sometimes it takes a little longer – if someone had offered me two weeks in a cabin in a remote location where no internet could reach me, I would have accepted immediately. I would have brought a cell phone in case of an emergency, but I think I would have switched it off for the most of the time to experience something I haven’t really done in years (if ever) – complete radio silence. With no one to talk to, no Facebook statuses to “like”, no text messages to reply to, I believe that my mind and my imagination would get a much-deserved and needed break. A complete disconnection from the world might be exactly what I need to recharge my own batteries.
Now, the chances of being offered this cabin is slim (the chances of it existing at all is slim, in the age of satellites and wireless connections anywhere in the world), but there is nothing stopping me from attempting radio silence right here in my own apartment. Nothing but my own will.
Because the one thing most frequently interfering with my intentions to take a break from the world is myself. I can’t seem to stop checking my email, “just one more time”; or refreshing Facebook to see if anything new happened; or scroll down one of the newspapers I follow just to make sure that Lady Gaga hasn't done anything crazy the last ten minutes. Even if I turn off my phone and unplug the internet and lock the door, I would still consider sitting down to write a blog post intended for others to read. Interaction has become an integral part of my life, and it seems almost impossible to cut it out. The task, then, is to keep it to a manageable level.
Because the reason I don’t unplug the internet isn’t that I can’t, it is that I won’t. After all I like the interaction. Even if I occasionally have to duck away from people, online and offline, to preserve my sanity, I wouldn’t want to become a hermit full time (not even one with internet access). Perhaps I should strive to take a week or two off a year, though, just to prove to myself I can?
As you all should know (since I’m constantly complaining about it), the final deadline for my MA thesis is coming up. I survived NaBloWriMo thinking I would not blog much in November, but nevertheless post every now and then, since I do have a few spare posts written. However, even if these posts are written, I realized that I shouldn't post them just yet. Until I have passed the deadline for my thesis, I have other things to do. It wouldn't feel right to post just for the sake of posting, when it is becoming increasingly apparent to me (and everyone else, I suspect) that I don't have the time or stamina to keep up with comments, both here and on other blogs. I miss being an active participant in the blogosphere, but until I have a little more spare time and brain power, I don't see the point of keeping up this half-mode I've succumbed to. Thus I am evoking radio silence. I am going to the dark side of the moon, and I won’t be back in Earth orbit for a few weeks (I’m thinking December).
Wish me luck – both in finishing the thesis and in staying true to my resolution of radio silence – I’m frankly not sure which one will be the hardest.
See you on the flip side!