End of February, coinciding with Corona, I handed in my work phone. I switched to a pre-paid and ran out of credit.
I felt, you know, those happy hormones – after a good run, good sex or really good food – just a little more protracted, spread out.
I used to work with the press and news commonly never sleeps.
Without credit, I can’t make calls, and only connect when I have Wi-Fi.
I think we should introduce a right to unavailability. Just like, in the digitised age, we should have a right to forget. Who came up with the idea to be permanently available? Well, I guess we all know.
Surely, we loose our individualism in the most positive of senses, and become submerged in a mist of unreflective but highly additive clicks.
I hope many more make the same experience I made.
I hope we realise we can actually create all sorts of meaningful communities. People with talents have made powerful use of their devices, in times of physical distancing.
- Think of Igor Levit, a star pianist, who gave over 50 live-streamed house concerts.
- Broadway-darling Laura Benanti invited young high-school artists, who can’t perform right now to send her their pieces for feedback, while Lin-Manuel Miranda tunes in to watch too.
- Yoga studios streamed one session after the other, often for free.
- And entrepreneurs took time to watch pitches of aspirational start-ups.
From gaming (nothing against a healthy pinch) and gracing your avatar to empowering a medium by floating it with human empathy and kindness.
Essentially an inversion: instead of asking what my smart phone can do for me, wondering what I can do for others through my device. Or: human powered by artificial intelligence.
Now, reader, go on, tweet, post, or design your story and use these hashtags: Not just #alonetogether but #togetheralone.
Joseph, 32, Belgium