Sunday, 13 November 2011

I do not want to be

constantly "available".
There is a report in our state newspaper about some new technology being developed by one of our universities. It is designed to allow the use of mobile 'phones without radio towers or satellites. I will not pretend I understand the technology but apparently it works by connecting users through a network of users rather like a "connect the dots" picture.
It seems the up-side of this would be that people could contact one another in emergencies - at least over short ranges - when other power supplies go down. (No, I do not know how you charge the battery!) That could be a good thing - especially if you could get them to work in difficult terrain and bushfires. Both those things are notoriously bad for mobile coverage.
I know people who never seem to turn their mobile 'phones off. "Someone might need me" they wail.
I have a sibling who seems to be sellotaped to her 'phone. It would take a surgical operation to remove her from it. Most of her conversations seem unnecessary to me but, even before she puts her seat belt on to drive the car she has the 'phone plugged in to the hands-free device and the ear piece in. I hate driving with her because, slight exaggeration but only slight, she seems to talk to someone all the time she is driving. My sibling will be late picking my father up - this always worries him - because "someone 'phoned" and "I had to talk to...". She is late for appointments because "I had to take a call...". She apparently needs to be in constant contact with other humans. I do not know whether this makes her feel wanted or important or insecure or whether it ever irritates her. I have not inquired.
I just know that I do not want to be like that. I am, at my sister's insistence, the owner of a mobile 'phone these days. Previous to that I would, if going to be away all day, borrow my father's - unless he was also going out. There was just one reason for that - so that he could reach me in an emergency. It is peace of mind at his advanced age. He has never needed to contact me and I hope he never does need to do it.
Apart from that, surely people can wait? Why do I need to be instantly available at all hours of the day and night? We used to manage without mobile 'phones (and a great many other things). I wonder though whether there will come a time when we will be required to have mobile 'phones and have them constantly turned on "in case of emergency", when we will be constantly connected to each other and lack any peace and privacy at all.
Does anyone know a nice island, not affected by global warming, with good soil and a temperate climate?


Talei said...

It's amazing how dependent we all are on mobile phones and just being connected to everyone - everything - everywhere. Le sigh, such is the global technology and the village we live in now. It's always good to escape to a quite place near a lake without a network... I did that earlier this year. Quite hard at first but after a couple days... 'what mobile phone?"

Rachel Fenton said...

There's such pressure to be always connected - I'm fine with it in small doses but I also love being away from technology. A balance. Write a postcard/letter for a change - that sort of thing...

widdershins said...

I used to know a woman, back there in OZ who actually went into high anxiety if she missed a call.

In an attempt to break through this she invested in an answering machine ... this was back last century, before cell phones were invented ... and I sat with her as she let a call go to the machine. It was painful to watch her struggles. Finally I dragged her out for a coffee...

We lost touch so I don't know if she ever broke through that addiction ... and is she didn't, heaven help her when cell phones did arrive.

JO said...

I can recommend Pulua Tioman, off the east coast of mainland Malaysia. If the sea levels rise the fringe of beach will disappear and you will be up in the jungle with the monkeys. There are worse places to be!