I am not addicted to media! Although it is different to be out of touch with the world outside my immediate realm, it has not been difficult to turn off the news, information and useless flotsam that drift through my life when I am constantly wired to the media.
While Gail and I are on our self-imposed sabbatical we are disconnected to many of the sources of non-personal data. I don’t know what is happening in either North Africa or North Edmonton. The Canadian election has drifted off my screen (although I have already voted) and a new arena is old news.
It was raining last night and we decided to take a motel room for a change. As soon as we got into the room, the TV came on and we realized that it was the first TV we had watched for almost two weeks. Does Charlie Sheen still have a TV show? Who cares? We watched a meaningless movie with unknown actors. This morning we watch the drivel that exists as morning news. No feelings of loss and no sense that we have to get plugged in to survive another day.
Even radio doesn’t exist in this world on the road. We have tried to listen while we are driving but radio is very personal and while we are driving through the signal zone, which can be limited on the coast and in the mountains, we don’t have time to connect with the format, the local “radio personalities” or even the advertisers. If we cannot tolerate the music at the moment we tune in we search for another station. The effect is a pastiche of sound bites, a cacophony of riffs and a babble of voices. We are not aware enough of the station to tolerate something we don’t like in anticipation of something that we do like. So the easy solution is to switch off and either listen to our own music or the sound of the tires on the road. Most time the silence is golden.
So, you say, we could check the internet for news. Sure it’s possible but without a constant connection we don’t have time during a coffee shop wifi break. After we check our e-mail and upload the blogs, the clerks are starting to shoot us glances and unseated customers are making repeated trips past our table looking for any sign of our departure. Our cheap motel didn’t offer a wifi connection last night and we were forced to work off-line.
Our final source for news is our phone, but have you ever paid roaming fees? We have our Blackberries on for calls but the data plans are turned off except in emergencies; no news available there.
I may not be addicted but I certainly need more media when I am at home than I have discovered I need on the road.
That’s what I am thinking about.