A few weeks ago I blogged about not using Facebook anymore, and I wasn’t looking at Facebook, just a peek once a week just to check in. See what people are doing that haven’t contacted me by other means, ‘Like’ a few things and move on with my life. Having Twitter, WordPress, Instagram, 9Gag, Pinterest, Goodreads, Garmin post on my behalf was…. well heaven. I didn’t have any Facebook apps on my devices, so I don’t get notifications.
I’d turned notifications off for many of the social media app’s I used. The main notifications that interrupt my day to day activities are SMS, Email, Phone calls and a few Social chat/dating apps I use.
Then over a week ago I went to Singapore. Arriving at the airport my iPhone picked up no cellphone reception. I thought I could deal with this, since in China only 6 weeks before I’d lived without most of my normally visited sites due to their Great Firewall of China of Social Network sites for a month. Although in China, most of the hotels I stayed in had free WiFi in the lobby and I could call my mum on Viber, and I had cell phone reception 95% of the time. Our hotel did not offer a free Wifi service. After one day in Singapore I had to know where I could access the internet, McDonalds near the hotel didn’t appear to have a free Wifi, and so I resorted to… using a Windows 7 computer at a local internet cafe in the basement of a shopping mall paying $1SD for 30 minutes. Most days I would visit the internet cafe, spend about 30 minutes replying to emails, checking Facebook, twitter and a few other social sites. Even not being able to post to Instagram about all the awesome places I was visiting in Singapore had a disconnection feel about it.
I felt very disconnected to home, my family, my friends. All I wanted was to be able to talk to these people when I wanted to on the spot, with a SMS, or quick flick of an email with a picture attached, Twitter updates, therefore I spent the week in Singapore feeling like I’d been time warped back to the early 90’s when the internet was not such a readily available product of society.
Since arriving back home to Brisbane, I’ve been using Facebook more than I ever have before this year, I’ve been in frequent contact with my close friends. When your forced to be disconnected, it’s not as much fun as willingly wanting to be disconnected from the internet, wanting to be disconnected is a challenge within, using your willpower. Having cellphone reception and internet taken from you is a different story, to me it was similar to going straight to jail, without a court hearing your entitled too.