As I sat on board the bus to work earlier today, a full bus at that, something dawned on me whilst we remained motionless at the traffic lights. Almost every passenger was glued to their phone. My bus had become a sea of zombie like figures, many of them flicking and scrolling around, presumably through Facebook, Twitter and a myriad of other social networking sites and apps. Chances are high that they were sifting over endless posts by their friends and erm, “friends” about the seedy hangover from Friday night, photos of yet another cup of coffee, the morning breakfast plate from the cafe or a selfie taken in the mirror before they left the house to show us all what they wore out for the morning.
Give me strength!
Don’t get me wrong. Social media can be a wonderful and intriguing tool, if used for the right reasons. Last night I shared a link to an article which laid bare the bones of social injustice that still exists in places such as Saudi Arabia. The tearful article recited a tale of woe for a young woman who was bashed and gang raped by seven men. Under Saudi law the woman in question had committed a crime. Yes, that’s correct. The poor girl who had been bashed and gang raped by no less than seven men had been sentenced to 90 lashes under Saudi law. After appeal, which was rejected by the cowardly judge, the girls sentence was increased to 200 lashes and 6 months in prison. I. Kid. You. Not!
What upset me even more was the lack of anger shown by others who I shared the link with. It seemed with some that I may have been interrupting their attempts to take photos of the coffee sitting in front of them to post on Twitter. This is one element of society that deeply upsets me as I grow older. Sometimes I get the feeling people just don’t care unless, of course the news being shared has a direct influence on them. It’s part of the greed driven and selfish society of which we now reside among.
As the anger continues to simmer within I have decided to try a small week-long project that I hope will give me a fresh perspective on the people and world around me. From this Monday through Friday I will be going technology free! No phone, no internet, no iPad, no iPod and no social media. It shall be a curious way of seeing how I can adjust and, shall we say, “survive” the week without my regular fixes of the things I have become so accustomed to in the past decade of technology advancements.
I am effectively going off the map for five days.
So what else has inspired me to undertake this task? Well, let me share a few statistics and blobs of information with you. These are elements of our modern society that worry me deeply. Unavoidable problems with our country, yet, as society around me appears to show is effectively blocking it all out regardless of how serious some of these concerns are.
* 63% of Australian adults are overweight or obese.
* 35% of children between the ages of 3 and 17 are obese.
* 2.8 MILLION Australian’s smoke.
* Australian’s hold just on $50 BILLION in credit card debt!
* There are 15 MILLION credit cards in use around Australia with an average debt of $3,333 per card.
* The average housing price in Australia rests just over $750,000, and increase from just under $350,000 in 2002.
Concerned? Worried? I know I sure as hell am. And what is more, these figures are rising every year. How is it possible that we have let our society fall into such a meaningless hole of technology zombies? We have become a fat, lazy and greed driven country. iPhone apps and reality television have become our staple diet over exercise, reading books and conversing in a more traditional fashion. Sad really.
So goals I have set for my 5 day hiatus from the world include the following.
* 10 km runs every morning.
* A strict diet of fruit, veg, meat and water.
* No Internet!
* No phone!
* No social media!
In essence they are small steps and it is only over a 5 day period however I feel that plenty of positive results will come from this experiment to remove myself from the world around me. Perhaps you too could spend some time this week dragging yourself away from pointless television shows and social media? Get out for a walk instead of wasting your evening on the internet?
My fingers are crossed for yet another fun and adventurous week. See you all on the flip side!