Back in my youth I sat at home with a ZX Spectrum dreaming of the day I might one day be able to carry a computer around with me. A few short years later and there I am with a Psion Organiser II, then a Series 3 (several of them in fact) and a Psion Series 5... Suffice to say I was a fan. Mobile computing was fantastic but wouldn't it be brilliant if I could also have a phone when out and about so that I could call people. Then I got my first mobile phone, complete with the offer of "all calls, all weekend, every weekend for a year for free". This, I discovered included International calls and just about everything else too. For some reason Cellnet in the UK never repeated the offer!
So armed with a Psion and a Mobile Phone I then wanted to be able to send messages and emails from my Psion the way I could with the desktop computers at college. It took some time that one passing through my first laptop along the way and we still had to invent WiFi.
Now all my childhood dreams have been realised. I have a Windows Phone from which I can message and email to my heart's delight, a laptop containing both WiFi and a SIM card so I'm never away from a data connection when I don't want to be, and a powerful desktop PC at home for everything else. You might think then that I'd be ecstatically happy and over the moon to have all these opportunities, or that perhaps I'd be looking to the next big thing, like a Satellite phone or 4G. Well think again because the whole lot has made me utterly miserable and I'm buying a watch.
Like many of you I live a working and home life of ICT. It's everywhere, I have to work on my laptop during the day writing Windows 8 books, when I'm relaxing I'll either sit at my Windows 7 desktop PC or lounge around on the sofa with my Blackberry Playbook tablet. When I'm out walking the dog I can stay in touch using my smartphone. On top of this I'm currently testing two more laptops, an ultrabook and a 3D Gaming laptop (reviews to come here soon), both from Samsung. In short, it doesn't matter where I look or where I go I can't get away from technology.
The dream I wished for as a youngster has become a curse of always on, always connected availability. There's no getting away from work, no getting away from technology and the first thing I see every day is an email from Groupon.
So then, the best advice surely is to go out down the pub, don't mind if I do, thanks for the offer, I'll have a Bitburger please, and leave the smartphone at home. This of course presents another problem and highlights one of the most common uses for mobile phones these days. We might use them 20% of the time for making calls and 30% of the time for checking email or browsing the web, but we use them the other 50% of the time to see what time of day it is. Yup, smartphones long ago became clock and watch replacements, in fact I don't actually have a single clock in my home (other than the one that's sitting in the spare room in a box) and consequently didn't have to worry about putting anything forward yesterday morning for summer time.
I'm not the only person feeling this, it's a growing problem facing society. Technology fatigue manifests itself in many ways, commonly as being unable to escape from work and from the boss. There's just no getting away from it unless you shy away from the technology we all know and love and start to think more like the little old ladies we all thought were a little bit crazy for being completely uninterested in getting online.
So I'm going to buy myself a watch. My birthday's coming up and it will be a special treat. It means I will finally be able to leave the smartphone at home, and the laptop, and the tablet, and go out into the big wide world not knowing or caring who the hell wants to get my attention and why. Will I miss anything urgent? Have a think about the last time someone contacted you about something genuinely urgent for the answer to that question. We all need a break from technology fatigue, and I'm about to get mine.
What do you think about escaping from technology and the Internet? Do you already do it? Why not tell us in the comments below.Advertisement
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Ghacks is a technology news blog that was founded in 2005 by Martin Brinkmann. It has since then become one of the most popular tech news sites on the Internet with five authors and regular contributions from freelance writers.