As I was flying towards a city that hides all its miseries and wonders, I knew this 10 days will make a difference in my life. Not only because of the incredible moments a traveling can give but also because I wanted nothing else just the REAL life.
What do I mean exactly?
I wanted to run away from all the online, virtual places, including internet, emails, Facebook and even TV.
I needed fresh air, refreshment and real impulses, instead of the suddenly blinking notifications, the instant news updates, all the who-killed-whom, and who-bombed-whom types of information. I needed my mind to slow down, my soul to get peace, my body to relax.
If you have ever done one internet-free day in your life, you know what an unimaginable effects it has. So just try to guess the effects of 10 such days.
With all my admiration to technology and development, I am not sure if we would place the pro and con features on a balance, which side would weight more.
I am terrified to see the addiction it causes on all of us. I am a daily internet user. Whats more, I am daily Facebook user. (Even though, I have stopped being one for 6-month, after which I re-registered- but only in line with an unwritten rule of conduct by written me)
So yes, I like surfing, getting information, Skype with my family and it is truly fascinating how quickly I can find what I want online, let it be the most insane ideas….still, I am afraid and terrified….of the effects of this virtual, unreal, super-hyper-quick, connected, fake, instant sharing, checking-in, feeling happy, feeling satisfied, feeling strong, and feeling cleverkind of world.
My mum keeps on telling me I spend too much time on the internet or at least beside the computer. If only she would know how much I am actually not. But in her eyes, the generation, who had no computer until their rather senior ages, ten minutes sitting in front of this machine seems far too long. And maybe she is right, but on the other hand, we are living in a completely different world and set up.
Our PCs are our LIFE, literally: our work, our bread and butter, our intermediary to friends, family and in general people, our entertainment, our learning facility, our cinema, our music cassette, our typewriter, our book, our confidential and closest … hm… thing to us.
These are facts. Still it is undeniable, that there are huge problems.
I have Facebook ‘friends’ checking-in to a concert, saying, they are feeling wonderful. If you are feeling so wonderful, why are you logging in to your Facebook? Then enjoy it and then let us know it was amazing. An other one is having a romantic dinner with her boyfriend and feeling loved. If you are finally having a romantic quality time together, why are you typing on your phone instead of holding his hands? And as a last for now, one friend checked-in to a cinema and stating watching XY movie and for the comments of how the movie is, she answered amazing, you should see it. If it so amazing, how can you look at your phone at all?
I am not here to judge anyone, and even less to hurt any of you, but all these statuses make me sad and worried. I have friends with whom I met and the only thing they did was checking their phones. They are not so much my friends anymore. People, who do not wish to appreciate the time we actually spend together, should not deserve the minutes from my life. Harsh but true. I, not he other hand, love spending time with friends, with whom we can talk for 4-5 hours and we only touch our phones, if our other-halfs are calling us to see if we are all right. I trust phones were invented for this on the first place.
So regardless of my admitted internet addiction, I have to admit an other crucial matter: I have never ever broke a moment or gave up a precious time for ‘likes’. A concert is concert. Full stop. A romantic dinner is a romantic dinner. Full stop. A movie is a movie. Full stop. Nothing will happen, if I share my happiness with you an hour later (or as some would say: not to share at all).
Why do I share at all? To be frank, I needed to realize: by pure egoism – Because it feels good for me. Because reading it back will make me feel good.
The same reason applies to pictures. I am not getting 150 likes just because I am holding a Starbucks coffee, or because I look to the Sun nicely. Sometimes it makes me wonder why not, but ok, I am fine with this – just kidding. But I share my pictures because I am looking them back every time I need to feel good. So it is my online happiness source (OHS – as I say). Basically, I need to realize that I am using Facebook to share things with myself –wow, this sounds weird. Isn’t it?
So there was I in Dubai, and I had no internet, no TV for 10 days. And I loved it. What I got in return will be an other story.
Did I miss these otherwise daily partners from my life? NO! Did not even occur to me, because real life was much more interesting.
- But looking around during an afternoon by the pool, seeing more or less 80 people fluctuating by coming and going, I saw exactly 2 with a book (do we still remember them?!), yet 80 with one or two mobile phones. Sad fact.
- But entering the the hotel or malls I saw 100s of people starring at their smart phone, yet nobody looking up to see what a diverse culture is around them. Sad fact.
- But seeing the sunset by the beach, I saw 100s of people Facebooking, yet very few to actually observing the changing colors and cooling breeze. Sad fact.
Internet is inevitable in our every days, but what about our vacations, holiday and days off? Are we still able to just be us without internet, Facebook, smartphones? Or is it already too scary not to press the buttons constantly because it gives us a certain loneliness, ‘I am missing out’ feeling and anxiety?
Doesn’t it scare you that soon you are afraid to go until the supermarket without your phone? Doesn’t it scare you that you have almost not one day anymore without a picture? Not even talking about the teenagers today. I am just so happy I did not have Facebook when I was a child. I would have lost out far too many things. Basically, I would have missed out my childhood.
Guys, please, enjoy your days and share with us your moments – but first and outmost enjoy them and sharing should be a by-product. I am genuinely happy if you had an amazing concert to attend, a love-full dinner with your other-half, or watched a good movie that you recommend to watch. But I am genuinely worried that you are not actually feeling happy, loved and interested if you are holding your phone in your hands parallel.
Once again, no judgment, no offense! I am one of you, I am love internet – but I am more selfish to keep my real life moments to myself and to enjoy my once-in-a-lifetime types of vacations to the fullest. If I can switch of for 10 days you can too – the effects are invaluable