Saturday, 7 March 2015

Turn the switch to 'Off'?

I'd like to ditch the computer. Turn off the iPad. Smash the mobile phone. Turn my back on Twitter. Ignore Facebook. None of them feel organic. They are all shallow.

Yet I cannot - or rather, if I did so it would severely impair my ability to stay in touch with what my friends and acquaintances are up to within the realms of the natural world. The trouble is, 95% of communication is now done through social media - even texting seems to be going the way of the old fashioned concept of actually speaking to each other.

So, the choice is to walk away from the world of Wi-fi, 4G and Blue-tooth and embrace the land of the 'out of touch'. Could I really make that move? I most probably could live with it for a day, but beyond that would find it difficult. My personal communication with many individuals would cease. I'd have to stop blogging. I would no longer surf the numerous sites that prop up my birding (and mothing, and pan-listing) world. For what? To try and recreate the life of a 19th century naturalist? Or to try and switch off the incessant babble of our 21st century existence?

13 comments:

  1. Trick isn't it? But without social media and medorn tech, our writings would be locked away in diaries, inspiring no-one

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    1. Very good point Simon, and if any of us can inspire just one person, then it's job done!

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    2. Yes, it is a good point, and quite thought-provoking...

      In our younger days we might suppose it was the printed word that inspired us; books, magazine articles etc. But of course really it was the actual writers of those words who were the inspiration. I wonder how aware they were of the fires they were kindling? While I'm sure the majority of published writers were talented, I'm equally sure the majority of talented writers were never published at all. How different now! There are countless talented writers out there, and while their readership will mostly be smaller, I guess their power to inspire is just as potent.

      I wonder how many bloggers, tweeps(?!!) and other digital wordsmiths are aware of the little fires they are kindling today? This is something I'd never really considered before...

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    3. Yes Gavin, so let's get Not Quite Scilly back up and running again! Sorely missed by me and many.

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    4. Hmmm...the point hasn't been lost on me Steve.

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    5. And it has not been lost on the rest of us either, Gavin. We need excellent writers such as yourself out on the bloggersphere, especially for those of us who need constant help with the head-spinning world of gull id!

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  2. I suspect you've inspired somewhat more than just one person, Steve. Patiently waiting for you to turn that switch back to 'on' again...

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    1. That's kind Seth. I've not switched off, just tempted to on the rare occasion...

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  3. Keep going Steve. There are few of us left

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    1. Hopefully I'm not going anywhere Neil - I've got to dish out the Wheatear Awards next month!

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  4. I feel the same. I recently said to a friend "in an ideal world, the internet would never be invented".

    The book you recommended, The Fly Trap had one page that said progress is often bemoaned but is actually a good thing. We can always get off when we want and back on when we are ready. You can't turbo charge a donkey was also pointed out.

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  5. So many times I've been tempted to drop all the social media connections and live the life of a birding and mothing hermit. I think it would all become a bit hollow though; despite what we might sometimes feel I think we need that contact/endorsement. Fully endorse the reinstatement of said NQS blog though. Always was one of my faves, fully understand why Gavin gave it the big heave-ho though.

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  6. Andrew - we have much in common, and not just a liking for Innis & Gunn

    Bomber - you are correct, we all need that contact and endorsement

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