Offline Might Be The Best Down Time
Never before have people been more connected than they are today. In an instant, you can video call a friend on the other side of the world or take a photo and upload it to a site for hundreds, possibly thousands of people to see and all from a device that fits in the palm of your hand. More often that not, that device rarely leaves your person. It can be used for both work and play, however, could it be more detremental to the latter? I think so.
A lot of people start their day off by checking their phone, instantly connected from the time they open their eyes. The morning commute is spent browsing news and social networks, possibly streaming some music. Then, spend the majority of the day in front of a PC screen. Constantly online and consuming data.
This may be mostly unavoidable during the work week but once the weekend arrives, it’s time to reconsider how important being online is. If your week involves having to be constantly online, taking time offline at the weekend may just be the best form of relaxation and winding down. In comparison to staring at a screen and scrolling there are plenty of offline activities that are more ideal for relaxing. Rather than trying to relax in the same way you spend the majority of your week.
The immediate idea may be to look for an alternative way to read blogs, social network or do whatever it is you do online at the weekend. For example, sit on the couch with your laptop or tablet so you can put your feet up and enjoy a larger screen. However, I’m not sure if this is any friendlier a way of being online than during the week.
Recently I’ve noticed a trend on some of the larger tech blogs; weekend round-up posts. Designed to make the site more compact and offering an “editor’s pick” style offering of the weeks best posts. I don’t know if this is a trend that will catch on, or if it is merely a trial to try and increase weakend traffic. Either way, I don’t believe it makes enough of a difference for me at the weekend. There is just something different about reading an article at the weekend.
Whatever that something different is, I think it is best offered in a form of physical media. For example, reading a book, not your Kindle, or a magazine instead of your favourite blog. There is more enjoyment in the simple and slow life of offline. Another way of looking at it is that you just simply don’t need to be online all day, every day.
You might think this is crazy, but take the rise of vinyl sales in the last decade as an example. In the last twenty five years the innovation in how people purchase and listen to music has been phenomenon. From portable cassette players to Spotify music has never been more easy to purchase and listen to. However, vinyl is still making a come back, why?
Vinyl just has that something special when listening to your favourite album. The careful process of placing the LP, the whirring motion while you set the cartridge and then the little crackle of static before a song starts; audio perfection. Similarly, reading something on actual physical media is just better than on screen. It’s nicer on the eyes, generally more comfortable and there is a magic in holding a “page turner”.
It might not be for everyone, but this weekend, try it. Put the phone down, do something offline. All the cool kids are.
This piece was written by Joe Carlyle