Now this is a topic we haven’t talked much about on the ol’ Aardvark. Going off the grid, a.k.a. offline. Ooooooh how enticing it seems. But when I actually think about
implementing the action of going offline, I get anxiety. The thought of being totally cut off sounds absolutely amazing but then I realize I’d actually miss being so connected.
It has always been a gripe of mine, the whole constantly being connected deal. Sometimes I try to practice being less connected by leaving my phone on the counter and turning up the tunes to try to get lost in the music. But my mind always seems to wander back to my phone. Mostly because fellow Aarvarkian, James, will send me 40 two to three word text messages about how much he hates work, how miserable he is, or how he is just dying to leave me behind and go to New York City. Point being is I truly can not disconnect.
I’ve been talking a big game about buying a boat lately. And not just any boat, a boat that I could live on. A Viking or a Hatteras, 50, 60 feet. A big ol’ bitch. I feel cool bringing it up because a good amount of my friends do not truly know the cost of such a vessel, and they all say how sick it would be if I actually did live on a boat. Being on a boat is great, it forces you to only bring what is truly necessary since space is so limited on a vessel, no matter how small or big. Storage is always an issue since boat designers are always trying to maximize living space.
Anywho, to be able to steam out off shore fifty, sixty, seventy nautical miles (2000 yards in 1 NM) sounds absolutely incredible. A true yachtsmen is always calmer by the water and wants to captain his own boat, not hire a crew and captain. And I’d say I fall into that category of being a true yachtsmen. My love of the water was never nearly as pronounced as it is now.
I would always talk about wanting to live in a log cabin in the mountains of Colorado when I was in high school. James’ mom would shout, “Oh god another Ted Kaczynski!” leaving me confused as to who the hell that was and why she thought it was so odd I wanted to be so alone. She would also call me out on it saying I would not like it because I am way too social of a person. Always looking to do something with friends and go somewhere, hardly staying in one place for very long. To which I would agree with her. Reason number two why I could not truly go completely offline.
I went hiking the other day for the first this summer. Like real hiking. Compeltely no cell service and we stuidply did not have contigenciy plan if someone were to have gotten injured. Anywho, we did it. As we sumitted, one of the girls I was with checked her phone to see the time and said “I have full service here!” I went ahead and grabbed my phone, turned
off ‘Airplane’ mode and the texts came pouring in. I took a couple picture but I texted from the side of a mountain. I actually stopped myself and said, “What am I doing?”
The whole idea of going away hiking is to disconnected. A healthy unplugging and resetting. Maybe looking back on the last week and reflecting, or in my case the last year. Lots of thinking going on in Uncle Doogs’ mind these days (see My Failure). I digress. I was actually pretty appalled at how I went ahead and texted friends from the summit of Mt. Passaconway. I finally got to go do something I had been yearning to do for quite some time and here I was ignoring the incredible scenery to fire off a text or two that really could have waited until five or six in the evening.
While I was hiking I did have the realization that I am a water guy. It is way more calming to me than hiking. Do not get me wrong, it is gorgeous! I love seeing the incredible views from a summit, but there is just something about being by the water that makes life just a little bit better.
Circling back to my inability to truly go offline. I enjoy my friends and company so much that I think now there is this obligation I and we as a society feels, to be readily accessible unless we make a post on Facebook or other means of social media about how we are going on a journey similar to something that Henry David Thoreau would go on, and with having posted about it, we can watch all the comments about how incredible it is that one is setting out on such a journey, completely negating the purpose of the journey because one is really doing it for the attention on social media and not really trying to find deeper meaning in what one is setting out on doing. Holy run on Uncle Doogs!
Point is, society has gotten to me. It has gotten to us all! I know I’ll get my boat, but I’ll probably steam within cell reception unless I have my friends as crew members for a weekend while we try to get away from the dogma that is today’s world.
Who knows, maybe now that I am single I will be able to cut the cord a bit more.