How do you feel when you are cut off from technology?  I’m not talking about when you are on holiday but when unexpectedly all your usual habits/routines of connecting are no longer there!

This happened to me recently when I had no internet for a week.  I work from home and although my therapies are face to face I rely on emails, online invoicing, online booking system and online banking in my work day.  This is also coupled with poor mobile reception so this is generally not an option.

At first it felt a blessing – time to catch up with other stuff that could be done offline.  It was wonderful to de-clutter my office space and the filing cabinets. 

woman holding files

I went back through many years of courses and workshops that I ran when first setting up my business as a Life Coach.  In those days, the early 2000s, not much was done electronically and I put together many handouts and workshop files.  Feedback sheets were on paper and articles that I thought may come in handy one day were often torn out of magazines.

Going through this I accumulated a huge pile of paper which I felt quite ashamed of but realised that before technology this was how we worked.


Photo by Alexander Grey

I had time to clean windows and clear out cupboards do a bit of decluttering offline on the pc.  Didn’t get quite a far as sorting out the loft though!

Not being online also afforded me the chance to stay focussed on an activity and not get distracted by the ping of the email coming through or checking the latest on social media.  I physically spoke to friends rather than sent texts or messages.

All this was truly liberating but as the days without internet continued I started to feel a bit anxious.  How was I going to pay the invoices coming in? Do I need to cancel the Zoom sessions I offer people? How was I going to make that online course I had booked onto?  I was making a list of what needed to be done once back online.  I was hopping between various wi-fi free cafes, going to neighbours and being offered time at friends.  This was all gratefully received but I really wanted to get back into my old work routine.

Eventually it was back!  That blue light brightly shone to show that I was once again connected to the world! Did I rejoice? I did a little bit but as I ploughed through my list of catching up I started to realise how time consuming being in front of a screen can be.  My creation of time to work physically in the world started to diminish again instead I was spending more time again in the ether!

Change can be challenging and can be for the best.  Even though this situation didn’t last long it was an interesting experience for me to take stock of how time consuming technology can be.  I am not a heavy user of social media or technology but that time away from it showed me how reliant I had become.

So as from now I will continue to clear out another filing cabinet.  I will switch off devices from 6pm in the evening and I will embrace the pleasure of having time and space away from modern technology!

To consider:-

How would you cope with unexpected loss of internet connection?

How would you fill your time during a working week if you’re not able to use your daily devices?