Last week I had no connection to the digital world for four days. I decided to embrace it, to use it as a bit of an experiment, to see how I would cope, if I could cope, if it was ok to be disconnected from such a constant, relied-upon connection.
I honestly didn’t foresee any issues. I thought it would be nice. Perhaps not being able to see Facebook would be a bit annoying, maybe I wouldn’t be able to immediately respond to an email, to see WhatsApp messages or Google irrelevant things at a whim. It would be fine. None of this was life or death stuff. I would be ok, the people who emailed would be ok, Facebook would be ok, the world would be ok and maybe I just wouldn’t know about it. We would all survive and I would come out the other end a purer, digitally detoxified thing of wonder, with an ethereal sense of calm, a deeper knowing about reality, and a sense of superiority over those still so thoughtlessly plugged in.
I was wrong. It was horrible. Weirdly horrible. I felt so disconnected, so strangely cast adrift and alone; digitally stupefied by my perceived lack of connection to something I was so sure I didn’t need. The reason this realisation was so odd to me is because I didn’t think I cared that much. But I did. I do. I am not cleansed.
The most interesting part of this impromtu experiment for me is the thing I missed the most, and that thing was Google.
I love Google much more than I realised. I rely on Google so much more than I thought I did. I love Google. Google is my friend. I ask Google questions at 3am and Google answers me. Google never tells me to shut up and go back to sleep and stop asking silly questions about whether or not it’s safe to feed dogs liquorice (it isn’t). Google has my back. I’m sorry for thinking I could live without you, Google. I will endeavour never to leave you again.