Was this summer’s biggest trend going offline?

I tried it and liked it (but not enough to make it a lifestyle) 

Published 19/08/2019
By: xxx Published: d/m/Y

Never have I ever heard about so many people talking about going offline. It’s such a trend it’s an anti-trend. People don’t want to follow trends so they go offline. That’s the trend. 

I have read tons of influencer’s long captions on Instagram this summer about unplugging and going offline to spend time with family and reconnect with nature (or you know whatever you do offline). I am trying to write this without reading it over and over in my head with a sarcastic voice. Because really, how much more 2019 does it get than having to tell the internet that you are going off internet? 

I admit it. Trends become trends for a reason. We spend too much time on our phones. Since iPhone (and many other phones as well I am sure of I couldn’t tell) started sending people weekly reports about screen time it has been the talk of every office lunch room all over the world. What is you screen time a day? I love telling people mine, because they always look so horrid. And maybe they are right. We reflect more about what we do with our limited amount of hours in one day now. When you think about it, it’s mind blowing how cellphones has taken over our lives in such a short time (short for the mankind that is, not my lifetime).

The most deterrent question people can come up with when on the subject too much screen time is always, but aren’t you like afraid to miss something IRL while on the phone? Well, yes. But at the same time, I am afraid too to miss something going on across town right now as well. FOMO can be a good reason to put down your phone, but let’s be honest, reality isn’t always our number one option. There are just so much time, between those happenings people are talking about, to fill out with scrolling, liking and searching. 

“When I needed to answer an email while in the bathroom (do you do that too?) yes you guessed right: I couldn’t do it”

I am impressed by everyone trying to have less screen time though. And before I tried to do it myself I also considered it to be a little dull. Then I jumped on the unplug train. 
Or I didn’t do it willingly, I got a ticket to that train when I forgot to pay my phone bill once this summer. And all of a sudden: radio silence. No-one could reach me and I couldn’t reach anybody. Only that tends to happen even if I do pay my phone bill though (which I have been doing on time for 10 years thank you for asking) since I never have any sound on. So the really big difference was the data. Or should I say the lack of. 

It sneaked up on me slowly. I am not trying to be dramatic here. At first I didn’t think it’d be a big deal. So what. But then everyday life came and hit me in the face. When I wondered about something, I couldn’t google it. When I waited for someone late to a meeting I couldn’t aimlessly scroll around a feed for distraction. When I needed to answer an email while in the bathroom (do you do that too?) yes you guessed right: I couldn’t do it. 

I realized how my entire behavior changed. I didn’t feel my right back pocket to see if I had forgotten my phone every 30 second. I read more. I listened more. I even forgot the only never-changing habit I have, no matter where in the world I am: to put my phone in the charger under my pillow at night. 

Of course, I paid my phone bill when I realized the error and after three business days my phone was activated again. 

But without trying to sound a person who just joined a cult, it was good looking up. Not always being somewhere else too. Listening with full attention. Not always reading from a screen. Walking around town not knowing the time. Wondering about something and betting the answer of google. 

Don’t you worry. I am back now. My phone is in the charger, but not under the pillow. You can reach me, but I am trying to not be too reachable all the time. And I do hope I will continue trying to search through one more time before I do it on google. 

I’d still win the screen time contest if there were such. Because even if the going offline trend got to me like the neon trend did, first not at all and then all at once, I still love internet. This was not really a life changing experience, but a little reality check for your ultimate Millennial gal. IRL is cool too, but it’s great to be back.

Published 19/08/2019

Fanny Ekstrand is a writer, creative consultant and founder of Hobnob. She says she is the master of vintage shopping and knows all the pasta dishes in the world.

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