Newsflash: I’m not always on the internet
Here’s an issue: I’m not always on the internet. Well it isn’t really an issue. But it is something that other people should note for… well, most people.
I’m not always “connected”. For me, that is not a problem at all. Not being on my computer 24/7, turning wifi or mobile data off on my phone, is normal.
Since I got a mobile phone I have never been on a monthly plan. I have been on prepaid, so that I have a set amount of money to spend, which usually lasts a good while, and I only need to recharge my phone credit if I run out. I have been used to this ever since I first owned a phone in 2002.
I had a sense of discipline for almost a decade, having an old “brick phone” until about 2010. That meant no social media, no blogging on the go, no reading blogs while waiting for the bus – no internet. Once I got a smartphone I quickly became addicted. Right now I would still admit to the same thing. My phone is like my left arm, and I take it almost everywhere I go. I don’t feel a need to be connected. In fact, half the time I am probably just constantly refreshing my email or my Twitter feed or thinking of something to send on Snapchat. I mentioned a few posts ago that I no longer have push notifications for my email and just refresh manually. But these pockets of time, these bits of time I find myself entering my passcode into my phone for no apparent reason – are what prevent me from feeling this need to stay connected.
This brings me back to my initial point: I am not always on the internet. Why do I feel like I need to make this statement?
- Didn’t you read my email?
- Didn’t you see my tweet?
- Didn’t you get my message?
Sometimes, I feel like people need to understand that I am not always online. Did I read your email? No, because I was probably doing something more productive at home like cleaning the kitchen. Did I see your tweet? No, because I am not just sitting there refreshing my Twitter and somehow expecting you to tweet. Did I get your message? No, because I am not always on the internet and I really, really, really don’t know why you are so dependent on iMessage to get in touch with me.
Another thing: I have a life. I don’t spend every waking moment with my phone always on wifi.
I have an iPhone. One thing that irks me about having one is the mindset from other people who have iPhones. They will send me an iMessage – which is messaging for free between iPhone users. The thing is, it is not free. You have to have a wifi connection or have mobile data turned on. Of course, at home, this may not be an issue. I will receive the message promptly. However, promptly does not mean immediately.
- Since some time after the 3G was released, iPhones were made so that wifi or mobile data would be disabled when the phone is on standby, unless the phone is connected to an external power supply, because it did not make sense for it to be on when the phone was not in use.
- I might not be at a wifi hotspot, and I don’t want to have my mobile data on and be using up credit unnecessarily.
I don’t know why some people are so reliant on free messaging – not just iMessage, but other services like BBM or Whatsapp. Your message won’t reach the person as quickly as a text message would. Unless the person is halfway up Mount Everest or in the middle of the Sahara or swimming in a sewer, your text message would most certainly reach them immediately.
But, all in all, do we want to be connected all the time? As someone who works in web design and development, constantly online throughout the day at work, I like to sit on the train home in peace. I crave the mornings when I realise I turned my wifi off overnight and there aren’t twenty Whatsapp messages, ten Instagram notifications, five blog comment notifications, twenty tweets and ten snaps on Snapchat flooding my screen when I just want to see the time.
I no longer want to post a piece of food on Instagram every time I want to eat it.
Also, I enjoy doing things outside of blogging, outside of chatting on Skype, outside of reading design articles on the internet.