Off the Grid

How much trouble do you have pulling the plug?

I spent the long weekend on Wolfe Island, Ontario, a place better known for cows, shoreline cottages, and wind turbines than lightning fast Internet. Where we were staying, they didn’t even have a phone, so from the time we left Friday evening through Monday night when we returned home there was no internet. No email, no blog comments, no Facebook, no Twitter.

I looked across the water in the evening to the lights of Kingston, a city with free wi-fi on every corner and didn’t care. There was no shaking, moaning, or sweating. Unlike caffeine withdrawal, there was no nausea or vomiting.

There were, unfortunately, lots of cell phones. For my money, mobile phones are the most disruptive devices on the face of the earth –in fact I’d rather sit next to someone blowing on a vuvuzela than a person talking on the phone. That’s really saying something.

At one point over the weekend, someone needed to talk to a person sunbathing out on the rocks. “Does she have her cell phone?” We could see her from where we stood. It wasn’t that long ago that you’d just have to walk over there and speak to them — or better yet, leave them alone with their moment of peace.

Do yourself a favor this Summer and unplug, even for a few days at a time. It’s not as painful as you think. Who knows? It might suit you. For example, I even managed to avoid the free wi-fi at the Thruway rest stops all the way home. I did stop to use the bathroom, but no Internet.

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