Off the Grid

Standard

'I lost my homework on the cloud.'

The children had been invited to a birthday party.

A minute after the husband dropped us off after agreeing to meet at the same point after the party, catastrophe struck.

It came in the form of an Earth shattering realization that I had left the better part of my brains, my eyes, timepiece, GPS, camera, my Swiss Army knife, my digital toy all rolled into one – the smart phone, back at home.

I had to solely rely on my brains – or whatever little that I had brought along – to weave my way to the venue as the e-invite and the host’s contact numbers were safely tucked away in the digital confines of my absent phone.

Even as I tried hard to shake the free-floating anxiety that kicked my imagination to life and conjure up a few dozen disasters, I was pleasantly surprised that my memory of the place along with the old fashioned method of asking directions when in doubt was all it took to get my excited children to their destination.

I watched the children do funny dance moves, jump trampolines, shoot zombies unobstructed by the lens of a camera. And I must admit, it felt unhurried and carefree.

Out of habit, my hands habitually dug into the handbag for the phone but stopped midway when I heard my finger tips – enjoying an unanticipated holiday – singing my praise.

By the end of that day, I had real memories and a bunch of new ‘real’ friends.

I am no smart phone addict but it felt intimidating to be left out of the loop, but strangely liberating to make real conversation with children or another device-free Mommy without the interruption of the beep of a message or a phone call.

This leaves me thinking back in wonder about my younger, pre-mobile days when I walked the streets, lost my way, boarded the wrong bus but got home safe and sound.

My children might never have the privilege of getting lost in this well-connected world or feel liberated from the shackles of the grid unless they, like me, are forced to spend a phone-free, live-in-the moment day with only anxiety and real humans for company. 

 

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Dear friends, hope you all are having a wonderful Sunday.

Research has it that an average human swipes his phone 80 times a day. As much as our phones are a smarter extension of ourselves, it is time we ask ourselves if the digital grid is enticing us into a digital fantasy that is robbing us off reality.

What do you think?

 

 

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34 responses »

  1. It’s Saturday night here half-way around the world and your post is a breath of fresh air…I choose to not have a Smart phone and love the thrill of being off grid, I’m usually the only one looking outside the bus windows, smiling at a stranger who might become a friend and who can quickly avoid being hit by a car because I’m aware of my surroundings! Enjoy your new/old world…

    Liked by 1 person

    • So good to catch you this morning (it is 9 AM here), Kim. Thank you very much.
      You must be among the rarest of rare humans to have chosen to stay out of the lure of the smart phone and its glaring addiction. Is it not wonderful to be able to connect with real people or not get run over by a car or hit a pole while your texting and walking. Not an addict myself, I choose to use it in moderation and to keep it away to listen to my children go on an endless banter about their day for rather than capture those, i love to listen to them and be with them in mind and person for these moments are very precious and ones I can rely on my real memory to bring back to life.
      Your life seems to be a dream, moderate on technology and in the thick of nature.Sending in prayers that it remains that way for a long long time.
      Good night, Kim.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. The smart I have is the first one I bought two years ago. That means I didn’t have a smartphone until then. My daughter and son-in-law bought theirs right before that. When my daughter announced that on FB, one of her friends said, you’re 10 years late! Nice post, Pranita.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. well said, the so-called smart phone with all it’s ‘super ability’ to kep us connected, besides other advantages it professes to possess have certainly left us less smart. as you rightly pointed out, our children will be a lot illequpped to take on the world. our generation knew to survive without the smartness of a mere phone, but next generation will be in a jurazzic Park without the phoone. by the way, catchy header for the article.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you, Doctor. So good to read your thoughts. You have nailed it, doctor, a Jurassic Park indeed and it is worrying. The children too are encouraged to use the Word Web dictionary at school but once at home, I insist that we use the physical Oxford Dictionary and I see my son struggle with it. Strange!
      Not sure what kind of a world we are leaving behind for our children.

      Like

  4. I think you are 100% correct in your last statement. You can add cell phones to the other drugs out there, heroin, cocaine etc as they are having virtually the same effect. I worry about our individual futures as we are all losing our sense of being. It won’t be too many years before the cell phone directs what we do minute by minute. I hate the damn things…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Absolutely! It is a potent drug as addictive as the rest on the list. Moderation is the key and we need to constantly remind ourselves that it is the HUMAN who made the smart phone for our convenience and not the other way round.
      Thank you so very much. So very glad that you agree.

      Like

  5. I have been meaning to deliberately disconnect but somehow that smart device outsmarts me every time!! i know exactly that I will feel awesome in its absence, even if it is for a brief single day!

    While I was reading, I was reminded about my upcoming post which will be on relying on good old prints of all my smartphone pics..do give it a glimpse!

    And yes, will deliberately FORGET my smartphone someday to gauge the feeling.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Oh yes! We need to do that someday, deliberately and enjoy living in the moment without having to click pics, feel the compulsion to display your every move on social media among many others.
      Thank you so very much and I will surely take a look into your space. Would love to know what you have in mind.

      Like

  6. I could actually imagine myself going through the experience you describe and I think it would be the same for me. As much as I would enjoy being phone free for a evening, I think I would be interrupted with my fingers reaching into the void for them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. The most ongoing topic for us, “slaves” of the smart phones. Like you rightly said, for us it was getting lost by boarding the wrong bus and reaching back home safe and sound. I think, for the current gen, it will be boarding the wrong “app” and getting lost in the smart phone !!
    Good write Pranitha !!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Haha! That could indeed be true rather already is, Deepika. Our children would arrive safe and sound after getting themselves lost into a new-found app or games. Funny but not impossible altogether.
      Thank you very much, Deepika.

      Liked by 1 person

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