THIS POST WAS UPDATED 20.03.2021
There is this eternal search for the simple life and whilst the digital era has made some things easier, has it really made life simpler?
I have been pondering this question of late, I’ve been reading books on living a clutter-free life.
One of the chapters was about the digital world and how to clear the digital clutter in our life.
It then dawned on me that this should not just be a simple chapter, it is our life.
The world after all has gone digitally crazy.
We are on our phones from the time we wake up till the time we go to bed.
Even then most of us have our phone lying beside us ready to be grabbed first thing in the morning.
It seems that the digital world that had made our lives so much easier has also turned us into digital freaks consuming information, never switching off and always ready to tweet any thought or post our latest selfie.
We are so wired up all the time — and I realised that the lone chapter on de-cluttering our digital lives needed to be a book in itself.
Digital Messages Are All Around Us
During a trip to the cinema, the usual warning message came on about turning off phones and not distracting others during the show.
It seems this message never got through to some as several people still pulled out their phones to check messages during the film with their screens lighting up several times.
Another lady actually answered her phone during the film, to tell the person calling her that she was in the cinema and that she could not talk. Go figure!!
Why? Why do we feel we need to answer every call?
Surely if she did not answer, the person on the other end would figure out that she was not available?
Why do we feel the need to be wired up 24 hours a day?
Always ready to answer every call?
Available to speak to each person that calls us?
I remember when I first went abroad as a young twenty something year old when I was in the phases of exploration and adventure – without going into specifics, you can probably guess that it was some time ago.
Communication was rather different back then.
My parents had no idea when I had arrived at my destination abroad.
This period as you probably can tell was before the advent of mobile phones, texting, WhatsApp, Skype or Email.
It was before the advent of the Digital era.
It does not seem that long ago, but it highlights just how many changes have been made and how we now live a digital life.
My parents had to trust back then that no news was good news.
How different it is today.
My daughter recently went away on a short trip abroad.
She let me know how full the check-in counter was, how long it took to get to the waiting lounge and she texted a final goodbye before she boarded the plane.
I had a blow by blow account as she arrived at her hotel and pictures posted daily on Facebook of the things she had been doing.
It was as if she had never left.
So, I find myself wondering
Can you live simply in a digital world?
This digital life is everywhere we look.
I was travelling on an underground train and observed a plethora of used Metro newspapers strewn across the carriage.
It struck me this was a different picture of years bygone.
I recall back then, I would have been desperate to get hold of my Metro newspaper when they first started out.
I would be disappointed if all the newspapers had gone by the time I had boarded a train.
I would wait eagerly for the first discarded newspaper which I would read eagerly.
It was usually a scramble to get one.
But the digital life has changed all of this.
Heck, they can’ t even give the Evening Standard and Metro away for free.
Now people are not bothered with a newspaper, they have their handheld device and never switch off.
They are having conversations on their phone for the whole carriage to listen to the one-sided conversation.
Their escapades of the night before and how drunk Joey had become that he could hardly stand up and what a great night they had and so on; information that doesn’ t interest or need to fill our day.
How can we switch off from the digital world?
And should we take time to switch off from the digital world?
I blog at The Digital Mum but I believe we can live simply in this digital world.
We don’ t have to be involved in every tweet, Facebook
We need to switch off and remember we are not an extension of our phone (though you wouldn’ t believe it — read what happened to me when I lost my phone).
I do believe we need to take time out to reflect, to walk and listen to the birds singing rather than to be constantly
This time is important to be creative and to allow creativity to flow through us.
We need time to be who we are and how can we do this if we never turn off from the noise around us?
Turn off your phone, I leave you with this video which asks us to do that very thing.
Look Up | Gary Turk – Official Video
It may seem a strange message to come from The Digital Mum where my mission is to help other women to build a life in the digital world.
I’ ll put it simply like this
Do you go to work 24/7?
Then why would you do so in the Digital World?
Finding your calm, so you can simply live your digital life
Because there is another way!’