Saturday, October 13, 2007

Offline on purpose

Today most people are proud about being 'online' all the time. I'm not. Quite some time during the day I'm 'offline' on purpose.

I do have a flat-rate, so I could be online 24/7, but I'm not. I do have a cell phone and could keep it on 24/7, but I don't. I make a point in only plugging in my router when I want to go online - that way nobody can use it to surf for nothing. And I also make a point in only turning on my cell phone when I need it. I do have a normal phone and everybody who could want to contact me, either has or can find my number. The cell phone is merely used when I'm on the move (or at work).

That might sound simple to you, but from what I see around me, it's pure luxury. (And, strangely enough, even cheap luxury, as my cell phone and router need less energy and I do use less short messages and make less calls from the cell.) Most people feel as if they're missing something by not being 'online' (or rather: reachable) all the time. They worry about being left out of the loop. I don't. Emails can wait. Whoever really wants to reach me, can do so by using my normal phone number (and try the cell when I can't be reached at home, though I do not necessarily have it one when I'm gone). I answer my emails when I've got the time. I take phone calls when they come - but I reserve the right not to take a call when I'm busy and don't know the number. I do have an answering machine people can use at their leisure.

I control my communication, you could say. I decide how many ways I leave to people to reach me. I'm not succumbing to the pressure of people always being able to reach me. Why should I? I'm not a political leader, I'm not head of a company, I'm not a doctor. People do not need to reach me 24/7.

I'm not online permanently, because I do have an offline-life! And I like it that way!

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