Offline is the new luxury

Recently a Mudita Community member @kirkmahoneyphd, posted about how more & more stores are locking items in cases that can only be opened by a smartphone. This got me thinking: Most people have their smartphone with them virtually all the time, allowing them to be constantly connected to the online world. Sometimes, it seems almost like we have an obligation to be ONLINE in order to feel & be included. Like we OWE people our time and availability. And when we do practice a more technologically mindful lifestyle, it feels like we have to justify it for everyone.
These days, offline time is harder and harder to come by. It really does seem to be a luxury commodity.
Do you guys have any tips for using digital technology on YOUR terms & staying offline when you want to without feeling like you’re the one that’s not conforming to what’s expected?
I would love to hear your thoughts.

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@urszula: I often feel as if I am the one who is not conforming to what’s expected, but I am comfortable with that feeling. (“Renegade” is in the title of one of my books, and “Contrarian” is in that book’s subtitle.).

  • For using digital technology on YOUR terms: Read Cal Newport’s musings about this topic, including Deep Work.
  • For staying offline when you want to: Practice gently asking “Why?” when challenged.

“Being online” meant 10-20 years ago sitting at one’s computer; it means today having a data-connected smartphone in one’s hand. The stationary aspect of the former made it easier to go offline; the portable aspect of the latter makes this harder. Switching from a smartphone to a cellphone such as the Mudita Pure makes it easier to go offline.

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Yes, and governments are trying to implement a digital biomedical and wallet identity which would require a smartphone to go anywhere, making it impossible not to be ‘‘online’’.

There is and will be some pushback against this, but it needs to go up a notch or two. Consciously choosing not to use smartphone services and paying with cash are simple steps everybody can take.

@kirkmahoneyphd is right that the pressure to conform will only go up but as of right now I feel really good about having just the Mudita Pure and a physical wallet in my pocket. I also have a physical notebook and a pen for when I am on the go, and then I input those notes in my notes program on my desktop computer when I have the time.

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My office has a hotel desk system that requires a smartphone to check in. I have asked multiple times about it but the consensus seems to be to expect me not to participate and work from home. Which is fine.

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@Sid_C I have a friend whose employer moved to a hybrid work model & scaled down their desk spaces. They created an app for smartphones so the employees could reserve their desks & meeting rooms for the days they planed on being in the office. She also does not own a smartphone & complained that she was being excluded. They ended up creating a desktop/web version of the app, so that more people could participate.

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Yeah, the entire point is to make life difficult for people who do not conform, so it’s good to keep a relaxed mindset about it and roll with the punches.

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Oh yeah, I am extremely privileged to even try this experiment. Most people in the lower classes would never be given a choice about how to use technology.

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I remember a time in the early to mid 2000s when I did not own a phone. My friends all got together and bought me a phone. I remember a change that I did not like. I became accessible to anyone. You lose a bit of freedom when that happens. I think the other thing that gets over looks in this whole disconnect from smartphone and go to dumb phone thing. If in that transition you are now on your laptop all the time then you have just transferred the problem from one device to another

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The experience is more satisfying on a desktop though.

This is EXACTLY what irks me about the “always connected” world. It’s almost like people are entitled to your time. Like you owe them your availability.

Yup. I came to the conclusion as well, if you need to reach me, call me. I am going to make it a point of calling people after I get a text.

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