Delighted The Internet Has An Off Switch

In comments on my post prior to the weekend, Bernie Goldbach suggests that

you have to shut off the warbles, the beeps, the bubble-ups, and the vibrating text alerts at least once every three months.

To certify this, Pavlos adds

Isn’t it great when we find ourselves in places and situations where the absence of technology goes by unnoticed?

Such was the case for the weekend. Granted, there was no complete absence of technology – I did bring my laptop and Mbox in order to process some tracks from the One Take Sessions (two weeks ago this Thursday) and I did watch a few episodes of Seinfeld on DVD – but I did marvel in the ability to disconnect.

There is no land line in the house in Sligo. There is no land line for a reason. There is no satellite TV, pipe TV, cable TV or antenna capable of picking up a TV signal again all for a reason. I took joy in leaving my mobile phone in a corner of the house where the only useful function I could get from it is to tell the time.

The result?

A great weekend.

Kayaking across an open lake in high winds, walking mountain roads at 7am, tucking into a bag of chips at the Aclare St. Patrick’s Day Parade (which far surpasses the quality of the Kilkenny parade, at least from what I can remember of it anyway), enjoying quality pints in the local and all without a care for what’s happening in the online world.

Given I spend way too much time “connected” as it is, it’s a great escape to shut off for a few days and I’d advocate it to anyone – throw yourself into the outdoors for a weekend and forget about everything else, just for a little while anyway.


  1. Coastal Aussie March 18, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Sounds like you had a great time, and that’s good advice for anyone. Do you have any pictures of your outdoorsy weekend?

  2. Matt March 18, 2008 at 12:42 pm

    I was in Alaska last year and was completely without any form of communication for two weeks. Best two weeks ever. We had to drive for an hour and buy a callcard (our mobiles totally didn’t work) to tell our parents I had proposed (she said yes).

  3. Ken McGuire March 18, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    @Coastal Aussie Not yet from this weekend, though you’ll see previous weekends to the same spot (thinking back to Christmas 2007) on my Flickr account –

    @Matt It’s a great sense of freedom alright 🙂 (and much belated congrats on the engagement)

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  6. Aidan Finn March 18, 2008 at 2:42 pm

    I’m just back from 9 days of being completely offline. Spent my time snowboarding, reading, eating, drinking and catching up with friends who don’t hang out online. I really enjoyed it and I didn’t miss being connected at all. In fact it was liberating. I think it’s good to go completely offline for a few days every couple of months just to maintain perspective and recharge.

  7. darragh March 19, 2008 at 9:02 am

    I’m liking your thinking. I on the other hand was surrounded by technology this weekend – I was walking in the Dublin parade and f it’s true that a photo takes a piece of your soul, then I’m damned for eternity. The sheer amount of mobiles and digital cameras was quite overwhelming!

    Glad you switched off though!

  8. Coastal Aussie March 20, 2008 at 7:59 am

    Thanks for the link Ken – I did have a little peek at your photos, and it looked like a really peaceful setting. I particularly liked your ‘slow water’ photos, and your friends look like a fun and funny bunch. I hope you kept warm and snug on your recent trip away though, as it looked fairly chilly. Take care.

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