One of my best friends had declared a state of UDI: unilateral digital independence. I’m not sure how I feel about it.
She had ditched her smartphone and so now only accesses social services sporadically and through a PC. She lives in the countryside so mobile signals don’t permeate the walks of her house so even SMS is put of the question. Call on the landline is her instruction to friends and family.
She’s a busy working mum, building up her own business whilst juggling childcare with her frequently travelling husband. The lack of interruption is making get feel calmer. She thinks this might be the way things will be until her kids leave home (more than a decade in the future).
One part of me applauds such a bold move. How much value is there in the stream of babble that its the majority of Facebook traffic? Isn’t all this consumer tech just turning us into socially-inept ADHDers?
But on the other hand… I will miss the stream of chatter, giving me at least the feeling of done sort of regular connection with people who I used to spend a lot of time with but now, post-parenthood, I maybe see only a couple of times a year? And isn’t a Luddite approach only going to be putting a finger into the dyke of technological advance? And do you know how bloody difficult a phone call is when you’ve got two hyperactive toddlers snapping at your ankles?
I’m not going to be calling a UDI any time soon. I wonder, though, if others will be as we hanker for a simpler life…