Airplane mode, for those out there who have also succumb to the Apple empire would know what that means, but for the rest of you strangers, it meant the mode where we turn on in our iPhones (or the likes) which will shut off everything that emits or receives signals of any kind. Yes that means no voice or data coming in or going out of your little miracle device. Yes it means no constant connection to the ‘outside’ world that we are all so addicted to, whether we know it or not. As the name implied, it is where you are in a plane which is bout to take off or land and you would be asked to switch off all electronics device, this is technically what you would need to click. In other words, with that little flick of the button, you will be officially “off the grid”.
And I. Love. It.
I love to be suddenly cut off from the world. I love the feeling that there is no way for others to find me or me to find them (though not all the time but normally I did not try). I love the sudden peace where there are no notifications, no little icons of numbers denoting the amount of ‘updates’ you have ‘failed’ to keep up.
Sometimes in this Internet generation, we have all been trying to keep up to date and up to person with everything and everyone. As a disclaimer, I must say I am one who sing praises to technology, and I must say we are now living in amazing times where loved ones can keep in touch with each other at a fraction of a cost and effort, and the world is more and more truly global, aiding in freedom of choice and knowledge. But when I found myself exercising my thumb most of the time, where I would swipe, poke, punch and occasionally pinch (with inclusion of the forefinger), almost automatically without a clear objective, sometimes shamefully even with the presence of others, it dawn on me that I have indeed went overboard.
Therefore when I had to turn on my airplane mode while on the road, and especially during the times where I had to move out of the usual modern facilities of electricity, phone and Internet, I had a bit of apprehension on how it would be but secretly I am really excited over the prospect of being offline. I felt like a little kid going out to a school trip for the first time, slightly afraid to be cut off yet the heart was pumping with desire to experience it regardless.
After experiencing airplane mode for long period of times, I found that I can actually function really well without it, not that it is much of a surprise. In fact I felt liberated. Though it is really wonderful to be able to stay constantly connected to your loved ones and having the world of information at your fingertips, sometimes we do need a break from it all. Solitude has long been underrated and real life connections have been pushed to the sidelines, maybe it’s time we re-evaluate them.
My travels had made me realize that sometimes it is ok to step back and get disconnected in order to reconnect with some of the things that matters.