I'm going to warn you in advance as this post has a (kind-of) serious tone to it, which I know is quite unusual around these parts, but it's always good to go for variety in life I reckon. Let's talk technology, specifically, communication technology. Phones, tablets, laptops - these are three things that I would consider essential to my life now. I need my phone to stay in touch with people, and it's been particularly useful to have whilst I've been driving along pitch black moor roads with fog rolling in from all sides to provide a security blanket in case my car decided to just stop working. I need my tablet as I have all kinds of apps on there that I genuinely enjoy on a daily basis, and I need my laptop for work. Three things. How did we ever survive without them? Did we ever?
The answer to that is yes, of course. It always makes me chuckle when I hear of kids getting mobile phones so that their parents can keep track of them. Ha! When we were kids, LONG before mobile phones (hell our first phone in the house was one of those circular dials that took forever to roll back around again), we would disappear for hours on end. No-one knew where we were, no-one could call us to tell us to come home. We had our bikes, a snack and a drink, and we knew we had to be home in time for tea or you would be in big trouble. I call those days the glory days. I really feel sorry for kids now as they will never know that complete and utter freedom we enjoyed. No-one documented our every move, photos were taken on holidays and saved to slides (!), and our first bath was definitely not put on the internet for all the world to see. I am beyond glad that all my awkward gawky moments and hideous huge hair cuts/perms were kept to a small handful of photos that emerge occasionally to make me cringe. Don't even get me started on how grateful I am that the internet was only just emerging when I was at university cos just the horror!
Where was I? Oh yes. The communication technology. Now that I am working in this very biz-ness I am pretty much always switched on. There's an expectation that a reply will appear almost immediately or you might start tut-ting and taking your business elsewhere cos how SLOW are these people? Sheesh. Frequently over the past 6 weeks or so that I've been doing this, I've found myself in random conversations at way past my beddy-bob hours hoping that whoever is on the other end will get bored soon and stop asking me questions. I read a lot of blogs that talk about this problem too, cos when it's your job where do you draw the line? I'd love to be able to switch off at 5 and walk away from it all but quite simply, it don't work like that. This is a 24/7 world and if someone is looking at something you put out at a time convenient to them, they want their answer at that exact same time too.
Please don't get me wrong. I am in no way moaning about this at all. I just find it a really interesting life issue. How do you draw the line between work-life balance when your business is this crazy communicating world? In the last couple of days I've seen a video and read at least 2 articles where people have talked about Technology-Free-Saturday. For that day, they hide their phones away buried in 6 jumpers so they can't hear it, or something like that I would imagine, and spend time with their loved ones. Do any of you do this? I'd love to know. On the one hand I think it would be a really interesting challenge but I don't know how well I would do. Because I love it. Truly I do. It's how I do the majority of my communicating, definitely for making plans and arrangements. It's how Wavey and I stay in touch when he is away on business. My ma texts me almost constantly as she is a text demon! I think everyone is guilty of it in some form or another.
I am so intrigued by the idea of a technology free day. I might actually give it a try and report back. But don't be surprised if I crumble and start flinging jumpers around to find my phone...