An absence of connectivity
I recently returned from a two week trip to Central America, where my Internet access was limited at best. From the minute I planned the trip, I had decided to not bring my smartphone (a laptop was definitely out of the question) and take the time to unplug and clear my mind.
The first thing I found was that not having my smartphone was extremely liberating, and also freed up a large chunk of space in my pocket. It was one less thing to concern myself with, and being that a smartphone is often one of the most expensive things we carry around with us, it was nice to not have to worry about it. I did not miss the text messages, phone calls, and e-mail one bit, and in fact now plan on leaving my phone at home more often.
Not having constant online access was also refreshing, and did not really cause any major problems. Not being able to check news or Facebook and LinkedIn didn’t really bother me at all, in fact, I found myself much more focused on what I was actually doing at the time and far less concerned with the daily back-and-forth of political and technology news that I stay abreast of when not traveling.
Overall, I think that I spent maybe two hours online over the entire two weeks, nearly all of it spent on practical tasks such as confirming hotel and transportation reservations.
Now that I have returned, the challenge is to find ways to recreate the freedom of being disconnected, while living and working everyday in the connected world.