Reported the editor in reverberation. The channel was a little unusual in these times: an SMS message, which was not immediately challenged, as happens on WhatsApp. I didn’t need that. It wasn’t urgent, it won’t solve the nation’s problems, and it won’t change your life if you decide to stop reading here. We are already past the top of information and opinions, so the response to the agenda idea may wait.
Everything else too Wait while the holy trinity of social media – Facebook social networking siteAnd Instagram and WhatsApp – it was down. We remember a time when the telephone, a remarkable invention now reduced to a fringe application, was the dominant form of remote communication. Mine rang today – and see! It was not a telemarketing bot or a fake kidnapping scam. It really was for me. A shared message, which could be a text message or an audio clip that was quickly swallowed at speed 2. But it was nice to hear the voice of the interlocutor and to exchange a few words as well as the objective reminder.
It was not a welcome release at all. The addictive side of networking was present in the frustrating attempts to access apps. After a few stuck schedules and an urgent reload signal, I gave up. Other friends did not get along and set up a mirror of the Zap group on Signal. It worked – and I don’t think I missed much. Just like I never missed the endless scroll in Insta or the tour through the latest face feuds.
There was more time. I was able to put some embarrassing practices aside, like playing with my daughters who are anxious about their last work assignment. Or have lunch while I check the number of posts on my last post. It wasn’t necessary – on the other hand, even if it was, it wouldn’t work. Everything crashes.
It’s surprising. We are so immersed in the logic of networks that the absence of intense contact, even for a few hours, seems to create precious mental space, opening the possibilities of focusing on some important activities for more than a few seconds. There is something very wrong with pulling out your cell phone at every little boring moment of everyday life, during a romantic date, in the middle of class, etc. If the downside is a permanent state of confusion, one must think about what we actually gain from this dynamic. Are we better informed? Do you focus more on the public debate? Do we get close to the one we love?
Days like today suggest that the answer to all of these questions is “no.”
A good summary for this October 4th would be: No one died, no one really needed me, my opinions didn’t make any difference, no after-hours messages, no online bullshit, no WhatsApp stickers added to favourites (OK, This part isn’t that cool.) I didn’t miss anyone and I’m sure no one missed me. Time was slower and less anxious. The door has opened to a state of greater presence in tangible reality, which matters. The tricky thing is that this should be a conscious achievement and not a side effect of the absence of networks. Anyway, I’m already counting the minutes for the next global meltdown. It will be time, once again, to slow down.
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