Almost Composed

Meditation and curiosity

How to live without a smartphone

June 15, 2014

Hire two boats for your friend’s stag do in Ibiza. Pilot them to a quiet cove. Watch your mates jump into the water and hastily take off your hat, sunglasses, shirt and shoes. Make sure your wallet isn’t in your pocket because you jumped into the pool with it yesterday and had to lay your Euros out on a table to dry overnight. Don’t think, live in the moment. Specifically, don’t think about sharks. Jump into the green Mediterranean, scene of Odysseus’ travails but with fewer deadly whirlpools now. Swim across to the shallow part of the cove where your friends are. Wonder what that weight is in your right pocket.

If you’ve followed these steps correctly, you should have magically converted your smartphone into an inert lump of plastic, metal and glass. Accept the laughter that is to come. Enjoy life off the grid for at least a few days, possibly longer. Ruminate on the freedom you now have in contrast to the freedom offered by ever present technology. Borrow your wife’s phone when you can.


1 Comment

[…] It’s worth proposing a variation of Socrates’ maxim that has been said in countless ways through the ages: that the inattentive life is not to be lived. I find it possible to imagine that part of what Socrates means when he proposes an examined life is that we should live in full awareness of our experiences. We shouldn’t let thoughts, sensations, events just happen to us while we daydream or calculate or simply not see. To use the term associated with meditation, we should be mindful (although unfortunately, I am frequently not). […]